Further Back

I have a picture of my dad
looking very small, standing
in snow on a mountaintop
in Iceland,
and it has always been surprising to me
that he looked so happy
bundled up in the cold

later he drove officers around
through Europe, the
Netherlands, he'd say,
Brussels, the Netherlands,

and he liked telling me about
some three day pass and I imagined him
in grey rain, eating hot soup
maybe trying to forget that
what the fuck am I doing here?
feeling, cold sense of alone in the snow
maybe more tremble than smile
I kept this little black and white picture
in many old wallets, along with one

of my mom young and standing in a ray of light
in front of a wooden wall on the back porch
of the top floor apartment i was born into,
her dress a sadder sense of gingham now seen,

secure for the moment both parents immigrants
these two pictures always together in old wallets
snow and sad sunray before I was born this is
how they were before I was born

2005 by John Eivaz

photography by T. Matilsky

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