Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Writing from Photographs

In my memoir classes, I often ask my students to use photographs as prompts to jog their memories for stories about the past. I also use photos to write poems. In the following poem, I used a lovely picture of my mother. I hope that you see the picture as you read the poem.
Below is a different picture of Mother. 

A Very Old Photograph

Shy with the camera,
she stands in her white sailor dress
one arm behind her back.
Her dark eyes, so much like mine,
glance right. Her lips shyly smile.

I wish I had known her then.
We'd have been friends,
going to pound suppers, singing
alto in the church choir.
She was loved as I was loved,
sheltered by Mama, strengthened
by her Papa's expectations.

How could she have imagined ageing?
Certainly not at fourteen
and looking so lovely.
She never thought she'd grow old,
lose her memory, and depend on me,
her daughter, to care for her.

              -- Glenda C. Beall

Lois Robison age 14

6 comments:

DJan said...

She was so very beautiful. Thank you for sharing her with me. Lovely poem.

Glenda Beall said...

Thank you, DJan for the compliment for my mother. She was beautiful inside and out. She was the perfect mother, I think.

Joan Ellen Gage said...

This was a nice tribute to your mother. She would be proud of you.

Tipper said...

One of my favorite poems of yours : )

Glenda C. Beall said...

Thanks, Joan, for stopping by and leaving your nice comment.

Glenda C. Beall said...

Thanks, Tipper. You are such a good mom yourself, your kids will be writing poems and songs about you if they aren't already.