The only pictures I’ve ever seen
are from their wedding.
My mother looked like a princess
with her tiny waist
in her lace dress
smiling her perfect smile for the camera.
My father wore a white jacket that
hung loose on his thin frame
his hair cut so short
that his big ears stuck out
like a car with both doors open.

My mother kept the pictures
in the pink box with her wedding dress
tucked in the corner of my grandmother’s attic.
She never told me not to look
but I always waited for her to go to work
before I crept upstairs, found the pictures,
and spread them out until
I was surrounded
by my father’s face.

His hair was Cherokee black
his eyes dark
and when I looked at him
I could find nothing of myself to claim.

I wanted that black hair
growing long down my back
like a rope connecting me to him.
I would have even taken his big ears,
just to help him recognize me,
when he came home.

@copyright Susan Taylor Brown 2010
All Rights Reserved