A Photograph of Emma

Broker’s Pick
John Grey

Mother and Daughter 1950s
Photo Credit: Sam Salt

She finally settled on hat and dogs.
The canines were retrievers,
eager to be elsewhere I am sure,
pulling wounded ducks out of the water
or, wet with blood, from the long grasses.
And she parades the hat so confidently
atop her long dark hair
like she can’t imagine there would
ever come a time when women
no longer wear the blessed things.
It’s 1939, war breaks out in Europe,
Hitler’s army’s on the march,
but you wouldn’t know it
from the serenity of her face.
Her eyes widen.
Head tilts up.
A nondescript smile
creases her lips.
Fact is, I know more about her circumstance
than she does.
Four years on from that moment,
she loses a husband in France,
and only one of her three children
survives into the fifties.
It takes a resilient heart
to sit for a photograph like this.
But then again, I’m not posing


John Grey has been published recently in Echolocation, Santa Fe Poetry Review and Caveat Lector with work upcoming in Clark Street Review, Poem and The Evansville Review. Email: jgrey10233[at]aol.com

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