Your Picture

I ran the tip of my pointer finger
across the dusty glass, the once shiny square cover laid to rest
in a wooden frame too intricate for the
photo it held
of you.

You were smaller then – scrunched up,
holding your stuffed fish friend
Superhero t-shirt
Athletic shorts
Velcro shoes.
You were three. A new brother.

I captured you just as you scooted your back end from
the wooden platform
to the plastic part of the slide
Ready to descend down the curvy yellow plastic
into the muddy yard – the yard that had more grass
Before the slide, before you.

Over and over you climbed and you descended –
up the stairs, down the slide. Every time
holding your friend, every time
smiling.

I wonder now: was it the top you loved most –
or the bottom – or the trip up or down?
Or was it that you got to hold on to something?
Was it that someone was watching you –
noticing you, holding this moment in time?
What was it that made you smile
that beautiful fall day
under the stinky pear tree?

Now, here it is – the threshold moment, needing to be dusted.
Placed on my piano next to my fiddle. I see you
again and again when I go to do my own playing.
Scrunched up just like you.

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