American life in poetry June 23, 2013
There are many fine poems in which the poet looks deeply into a photograph and tries to touch the lives caught there. Here's one by Tami Haaland, who lives in Montana.
She's with Grandma in front
of Grandma's house, backed
by a willow tree, gladiola and roses.
Who did she ever want
to please? But Grandma
seems half-pleased and annoyed.
No doubt Mother frowns
behind the lens, wants
to straighten this sassy face.
Maybe laughs, too.
Little girl with her mouth wide,
tongue out, yelling
at the camera. See her little
white purse full of treasure,
her white sandals?
She has things to do,
you can tell. Places to explore
beyond the frame,
and these women picking flowers
and taking pictures.
Why won't they let her go?
American Life in Poetry is made possible by The Poetry Foundation (http://www.poetryfoundation.org), publisher of Poetry magazine. It also is supported by the Department of English at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.