And it occurs to me no prints or negatives
of just us two – none exist, though each September,
first school morning, we stood, my brother and me,
by the magnolia. If anyone took photos then, she did.
Half an hour before we woke, she dressed,
set the table, dished out canned pear or peach halves
or mandarin oranges, poured milk, poured juice, made toast,
because once her mother owned a boarding house:
what you’d do for others, you do for your own.
A bus will stop at the end of our street, eventually.
Meantime, we wait with a girl and her older brother –
I can see their faces, I can see their house,
I forget their names.
Heads tilted, new haircuts, huge lunchboxes
in hand, we looked east, straight into the sun.
I’d hug her now, though she wouldn’t quite like it.
I’d ask what she thought as we walked away.