Saturday, April 24, 2021

Photograph of Daddy and Mother at the Shore by Cameron Spencer

The two of them
grin on the beach
Daddy squints into the sun,
          head tilted toward Mother.

He’s tan, trim—“buff”—
to design machines
          that perforate paper;
          that measure out segments
then cut them short.

He will free himself from the denials
          of the Depression
and die in twenty years.

Mother faces the lens head-on,
          legs astride,
          sturdy in her candy-striped one-piece suit.

She will live forty years more without him—
          twice again the age she is in the photograph.

He died young
          and content.
She, old and ill,
disappointed by a life that delivered few of its promises.

This, a black-and-white reminder:

Early death is not the worst possible end.

Cameron Spencer lives in Savannah, Georgia, where she writes short stories and poetry.

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