in black and white

Before I first tasted honeysuckle on my tongue,

Before I felt cold, churning seawater brush against my toes,

Before I wandered sunlight paths of pine and oak and palmetto,

there was you,

one hundred years before I saw you,

black and white,

forever young,

in a photograph on my grandmother’s bookshelf.

I’ll never know you,

but you are all around me, in stories passed around the dining table,

and old family recipes,

and fond recollections on the last Thursday in November.

You are a childhood memory,

and a heartbreak that came too soon,

an unexpected connection with the past,

and the origin of hallowed traditions.

You’re the framework,

the beginning,

of the life I know,

and the home I love.

You’re gone now,

you have been for many years.

You’re gone, but

You are here,

a reminder that I

am made of stronger stuff, that I

can do anything I set my mind to, that I

have made it this far, and that I

have a history.


This poem is about: 
My family


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