Tuesday, October 13, 2015


Surprising new photo of mother, never seen and never described. 
No one to ask, mine to project interpretations and hopes.

A tableau of relaxed well-being, anticipatory of celebration.
Three young women sit at angles to each other;
Formal dresses, two matching, Mom in wedding gown.
Her handmaidens, unknown to me, perhaps and probably,
Friends from her job, other wartime librarians, 
Neither of whom look particularly animated.
Mom, clear star of the event, looks gorgeous and happy.
Large floral bouquet, colors indistinguishable in black-and-white,
Fulfills several purposes, one of which is to hide my presence.
So glad she is happy and, probably, relieved that I am legitimized.

In absentia: corresponding photo of male participants.
Possibly intentionally discarded in ensuing years,
Probably garbed to the nines in WWII dress uniforms,
Perhaps replete with swords, cording, metals--
But missing, reflective that Dad might not have been
As excited to wed and to become a parent,
And that he wouldn't stay around well or long--AWOL.

As in previous generation, feminine is present and dominant,
Masculine, often, ambivalent, dreamy, dependent, absent.

Grateful for new vision and version of Mom: joyful, unburdened.

Ann Beth Blake
Siracusa, Sicioia, Italia
(c) Septmber 3, 2015

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