The old frame that holds the family portrait is removed,
separating it from this photograph of another time, another place.
The place is Red Rocks National Park in Colorado. The family sits
blended into rock landscape for that single instance of togetherness
that we can never repeat. I search for a smile, or a half frown on any
of the faces. I, a new mother, in full smile, hold my first born Anna
with my hand held firmly over her heart. Two blonde sisters’ dimpled
smiles are framed by a huge red boulder. The men are outnumbered.
My father, last to bare his name, is big and on the edge, like in life.
His mother stands close to him and between dad and mom, symbolic
of many a rocky marriage. All three, mother father grandmother,
are dressed in beige and seem to fade into the earth’s bright colors.
Now they are gone. The husbands are bearded and beautiful.
The children sit, knowing and vague.
Family portrait taken in the winter of 1980, poem written in 1989 and
revised for the NaPoWriMo prompt of 2016.