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:
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 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,
and even though I'd miss a thing or two,
in gestures or a grin or wink
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
I feel alive and lost inside
the careless pulse of life and everything it brings,
much more equipped to handle slings
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,
Comments about Snapshot by Conor Dowd
Mary Elizabeth Frye
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