Conor Dowd

Snapshot - Poem by Conor Dowd

It started with a meeting on a stairs
on a Saturday in March
like that painting that I love -
you know the one in which the knight
sees coming from above the girl who won his heart?
('The Meeting on the Turret Stairs, ' I think it's called)

Two photos on my bedroom wall
that watch me as I sleep:
it's you,
in Youghal,
your smile a little waterfall of joy.

I scan the picture,
take you in and then I can begin
to see a time before you knew me.
It's funny and it makes me think...
then I smile and let your smile pass through me.

And you show me photos
from your childhood, from your youth -
the little girl that stares at me is you
(in summer shorts and shirt)
it's unbelievable but true,
the celluloid impression seems so real,
so clearly you.

I watch you smile and reminisce
on this snapshot of a time long past
that time remembers though it moves so fast.

...And your mother's face, so clearly yours,
so strange how time will leave its trace
in generations,
in family arrangements.

I know because I see my father's face
sometimes in mine -
I'd pass the mirror by and catch a glimpse of mine,
then his
and even though I'd miss a thing or two,
in gestures or a grin or wink
I'm him...
and it holds me and I stop to think.

Some people will prepare a face
to meet the faces that they meet
but I find myself more solid
than last week,
more altogether there,
more altogether real beneath your stare
as though you'd dreamt me back to life
like something from a fairy tale...
so I can't complain or moan because I've found the breadcrumb trail
that leads me home.

I think I've got the balance now
just right,
I feel alive and lost inside
the careless pulse of life and everything it brings,
much more equipped to handle slings
and arrows
and all the unpredictable tomorrows.

And it started with a word or two just spoken,
a laugh and then a drink
and then the ice was broken -
in retrospect I think it was a token
of something understood,

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Mary Elizabeth Frye

Do Not Stand At My Grave And Weep

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Poem Submitted: Thursday, October 19, 2006

Poem Edited: Wednesday, October 20, 2010

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