Photograph of my imagination

Sorting through a box of family photographs
I find a picture shot through a window—
framed within it is a river? an inlet to the sea?
I cannot say. There is a rowboat tethered
just outside. The photo is blue and green,
the red leeched out with age. Was I ever
there? Did I look out that window, wish to
take that rowboat and float with the current
to the sea, to a wide world that beckoned
beyond that distant room? I cannot say.

Photo Of My Father In The Hospital With A Broken Nose Following A Car Accident

He looks like a fighter who has lost.
He stares at the camera somewhat off kilter,
somewhat dazed, somewhat prepared to pound
the bejesus out of you. His hand rests before him,
swollen, as if it had been punching all his life.
His head rests on the hospital bed iron frame
and the bed light behind him only serves to
illuminate that which radiates from him.

Bloody, but unbowed, I come from a line
that proudly claims to rise from defeat—
I see it in his eyes, they say it,
“I must be true.”

A Typewritten Note on a Scrap of Yellow Paper Found in a Box of Old Photographs

“Just to be good, to keep life pure from degrading elements, to make it constantly helpful in little ways to those who are touched by it, to keep one’s spirit always sweet and to avoid all manner of petty anger and irritability— that is an ideal as noble as it is difficult.”
Edward Howard Griggs.