Time Portraits

poem by: Ann Parks
Written on Aug 30, 2017

I was young
and in Paris 
sitting on a coach.
Suddenly I saw
a majestic bride
ascending  into  church 
the gentle rippling
of her  dress train 
like milk flowing upwards
upon the steps.

This footage 
you too may have seen
The Nazi Officer
prods the old woman's face
with the handle of his stick
and with it pushes up her chin
to intimidate, to shame.
But she is calm
does not react
as if she thinks
it's not me you hate
it's some mythical concept
not me , no not me.

My grandparents photo
1942 or 43
he's in uniform
on  precious leave
they spend a weekend together
she has curly hair
exactly the same hair
falling in the same way
parted in the same place
in my daughter's photo
across the distance of the room
across the distance of time.

In London where I lived
I stepped out into the road
to cross without looking
while the traffic had stopped.
A limo was there 
in front of me 
but as I looked
just feet in front of me 
inside the limo
The Queen herself
(caught in traffic)
looked right at me
quite searchingly I think now
and I felt her appraisal -
unimpressed!

 

Tags: imagery,

Add Comment


Cecilia Crasto commented:
A different time, a different age, you have expressed brilliantly in this poem, the memories captured and stored in your mind...excellent write Ann.
Christopher Russon commented:
Really well written poem Ann. I can remember the footage of the Nazi officer prodding the old woman's face . Sadly things have never changed,
A previous user commented:
Lives in various stages. One of distant days. One of different ways. A poem for the ages. Thank you kindly.
Ja Ja commented:
Lives in various stages. One of distant days. One of different ways A poem for the ages. Thank you kindly

 

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