THAT LIGHT ONE FINDS IN BABY PICTURES
Being born is a shame—
But it's not so bad, as journeys go. It's not the worst one
We will ever have to make. It's almost noon
And the light now clouded in the courtyard is
Like that light one finds in baby pictures: old
And pale and hurt— 2/ When all roads are low and lead to the same
Place, we call it Fate and tell ourselves how
We were born to make the journey. Who's
To say we weren't? 3/
The clouded light has changed to rain.4/ That's me—, the child playing in the sand with a pail
The picture—. No, the baby's blurry.
And shovel; in the background, my mother's shadow
Is crawling across a soot-blackened collapse of brick
And timber, what might have been a bathhouse once.
The tide is coming in—. Someone has written HELL
On its last standing wall.
* * *
Poem © Copyright by Jay Hopler. All Rights Reserved. Reprinted with the permission of the author.