Photo Optics

Whenever Paul viewed photos
he saw the subjects pulse with life
or lay perfectly still in death.

This worked for both people and animals.
It worked for forests but not individual trees.
Mountains always pulsed.

Once when looking through a family album
he saw his uncle’s photo pulse irregularly
then become still.

The family buried the uncle a week later
in a sluggish ceremony with blue filters
to accentuate the somber mood.

No cameras recorded the wailing
the simple headstone
or any of the muttered blessings.

copyright © 2022 Kenneth P. Gurney


A couple Fridays ago, my turn at being the Poet in the Library took place. This reading series was organized by Albuquerque poet laureate Mary Oishi. The reading was filmed and posted to YouTube. To view it click here.

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