003 Senior Portrait,1986
There I am, freshly straightened smile,
features still familiar in that academic pose-
the round cheeks, the wonder in the eyes,
the youthful bronze of leisure all obvious enough.
What remains out of view, just below the pearls
along the frame's bottom edge, are the freckled
souvenirs of those precious college summers,
and my left hand, home to pen, paintbrush,
and eventually, a brilliant symbol of a union
in gold. In my right, if you could see it, rests
a thin red leash to my best friend, who led me
through my childhood as best she could on all fours.
This particular shot overlooks the knees,
the left later patched like a snow tire -
a permanent Alpine lesson in limitations -
along with lesser scars and psychological sutures;
merit badges earned crossing childhood's bridge.
Shame you'll miss the feet, pointed parallel,
forever forward, walking me fearlessly to my future
where I learned to write poems about the past.