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The Picture in Claudia’s Antique Frame – Poem by Jade Blackmore May 26, 2012

Posted by vscorpiozine in Veteran Poets.
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The Picture in Claudia’s Antique Frame

We walk into Claudia’s bedroom one day after enduring the long bus ride back
from “Visual Design in Poetry” class.
She puts her fringed suede purse on her bed.
I walk over to an antique picture frame
Placed prominently
On her desk.
Underneath the glass,
There’s a grainy sienna-tinted
Newspaper photo
cut and traced with care
On a cardboard backing.
It’s a sideways view of a man in a rocking chair.
His gaunt face and
Jesus hair
Bathed in shadows and yesterdays,
His eyes blank
As if registering
Would be too painful.

The picture is placed lovingly in a
silver filigree picture frame
next to her high school graduation photo.

“Do you know who that is?” she says, “Look closer.”
I look closer.
The realization hits my solar plexus like a sucker punch.
I address the inanimate object
In lieu of the man it represents.
“Oh, sweet baby! What happened?”

Claudia tells me the story
Of a thimbleful of hash
And how the ‘60s really ended if you had no trust fund.
“Don’t worry,” I whispered, “We’ll hear from him again”
“Oh, I know we will,” she said,
and I remember her voice
and eyes and freckles and Pippi Longstocking hair as if
I last saw her a few days ago,
instead of a few decades.
Claudia now lost  in limbo
As a bank teller
Or a beret-wearing girl at the bus depot,
dropped off one day at the intersection
of all grown up and my back pages,
Never to return.
But the man in the photograph is back,
Reinvented and feisty,
Weaving in and out of my life,
Like a sparkly butterfly
I can never quite catch.

Copyright 2012 by Jade Blackmore




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