Family Photo, Long Beach Island 1991

blowing grass

Family Photo, Long Beach Island 1991

Dune grass bends behind us
as we line up, arm in arm,
mothers, fathers, cousins and spouses.

Aunt Rita is second from the right,
the master of lobster bakes
and perfect, golden corn on the cob.

My new husband stands on the end,
still not certain where to be.
His blond hair covers one eye
in answer to a long ago breeze.

Mom beams from the middle.
Twin to Barbara, mother of three.
A gentle soul whose eyes already
reflect the battle against
illness that took her this past winter.

But…
just out of view,
over to the left,
see our younger selves
exploring the bay’s sandy bottom,
searching for clams with tender feet.

My great, great grandfather’s duck blind
hovers on stilts offshore.
The small cottage, no longer standing,
glows late into the evening,
packed with too many cousins.

And, if you listen very carefully
You can hear the heartbeats
of grandchildren to come,
traipsing up the beach,
to stand in a photo,
arm in arm.
Inspiration for this poem came from Billy Collins’ poem, “Class Picture, 1954”.

One thought on “Family Photo, Long Beach Island 1991

  1. I like SO much about this poem!!! My favorite stanza is the one describing Len – not sure where he fits in and the hair reacting to the breeze. I love how you phrase it! I was hoping to see the photo at the e d but then I realize you describe it SO well, I do see it! And hear it – the heartbeats of soon to come grandkids. I like how you return at the end to “arm in arm”! Thanks for sharing. So glad you are finding time to write! You have so much to say and you say it so well.

    Like

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