Sepia Figures

Written for:  Margo Roby’s Poem Tryouts:  “Be Still My Beating Heart”
A word day, yes? Still. Do you feel the slowing down within what’s around you? I find when I think the word still, there is a moment that feels so. I know it has to do with the i and the ll’s, possibly the initial s, but that’s as far as I’ve gotten.

As to what to do with the word, Choose one meaning and have the poem reflect that meaning.

Focus on a sepia still,
my grandparent’s wedding
picture. All I have
to visualize their lives
are anecdotes, and tidbits
passed on at family occasions.

Photographs of that period froze
subjects in stultifying seriousness.

Grandfather stands tall, erect
in full mustache. He looks stern,
but I have heard he was funny,
acting out cowboy movies
in a thick Yiddish accent.

Grandmother is small in stature,
shy looking behind a kind face.
Her cooking skills have been touted,
as well as her meekness and deference
to her husband. Every morning, she
went out to buy him a razor.

Still, I wish I could have known
them first hand. I have questions.

About purplepeninportland

I am a freelance poet, born and bred in Brooklyn, New York. I live with my husband, John, and two charming rescue dogs–Marion Miller and Murphy. We spent eight lovely years in Portland, OR, but are now back in New York. My goal is to create and share poetry with others who write, or simply enjoy reading poetry. I hope to touch a nerve in you, and feel your sparks as well.
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3 Responses to Sepia Figures

  1. Misky says:

    Those old photos – they really did pose stiff as sticks back then. 🙂


  2. It would be wonderful, wouldn’t it, to be able to talk to them? I love to have known my great grandparents.


  3. We do have questions, done we? And sadly we lose the answers before we even knew their stories. But photographs? They preserve us well. I love your take on this Sara!


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