Looking Back

I never became the boy in the photo
mother kept on the mantle.

I never developed that smile
or wore that haircut.

It is always summer in that photo
even in black and white.

I remember the tiny guillotine
of being called his name

and how it shaved slivers off me
onto the floor for to be swept away.

I loved and hated him in his absence—
in the perfection of vivid memories.

copyright © 2022 Kenneth P. Gurney

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