THERE IS A BLACK & WHITE PHOTOGRAPH by LYNNE SAVITT

 

THERE IS A BLACK & WHITE PHOTOGRAPH

of two little girls about 8 & 5 years old
wearing matching striped bathing caps
between them stands a man in a dark suit
his eyes so ice blue you can tell even in a
colorless photo his hands on their tiny heads
like a magician pulling them out of a top hat

in late afternoon he draws the shades un
dresses himself one by one he tells the
children to come & nap their bare backs
spooning into him who pinches their arms
shoulders buttocks instructs them to put
their spidery legs between his thighs

decades later after their father’s funeral
sisters remember those times in the four
poster bed on top of the slick quilt with
grandpa never tell anyone & they didn’t
for over 50 years until that rainy night
finishing each others’ sentences identical

memories stunned at exactness of twin
detail flashbulb goes off their own father
never hugged or kissed or touched them
grandpa who always wore a suit & tie even
in hundred degree weather buttoned up
tight except those late summer afternoons

with his two little discreet rabbits
& their secret blue thighs

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3 Responses to “THERE IS A BLACK & WHITE PHOTOGRAPH by LYNNE SAVITT”

  1. George Fisher Says:

    a stunner! speechless, just shaking my head. one of her best yet.

  2. Vivid and devastating. So well done.

  3. a.d. winans Says:

    Another stunner poem that hits home and stays with you.

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