Tuesday, August 11, 2009


As an adolescent I would finger

the belongings my sister left

behind. Boxes brimmed to their

corrugated edges with photo albums.

110mm memories mounted on crusted

adhesive. Snapshots of Teddy

and Gary basking like beefsteak

on the flat rocks that line the Delaware

River. Their eyes weighted with weed.

15 years and 3,000 miles later,

I return to find my own photos

niched next to the crates of Christmas

ornaments. Forgotten like a bastard boy.

Their plastic pages protect memories

of dally days--Judy and Rose, eyes

and smirks stewed with Smirnoff, slump

on the couch, beer bottles high

in salute. Rose is not wearing underwear.

Her denimed crotch is damp.

In the family room, my parents,

like beacons, watch made-for-TV

movies and cooking shows. On the wall

hangs a photograph of me at 12 years old.

Plump cheeks and tired eyes.

Confused smile and simple stare.

Captured like the other

ghosts in the attic.

poem and photo copyright Robert P. Langdon

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