Yesterday, my mother’s portrait (you know
the one with the polyester paisley shirt, its red
clashing with the cheap silk tiger lilies over
her right shoulder?) fell off its hook and onto
the floor with a bang. The photo, encased in thin
metal, face down on the carpet, the glass cracked
and unsalvageable. I never liked that frame.
Sunlight penetrates leftover rain clouds.
Doors slam upstairs as cool spring breezes
blow through open windows “airing out the house”
as mother always said we should. The smile in that
photo, shy and full of apology, always concerned
lest offense be taken. Now I want to surround that smile
with something that suits it. Perhaps she did too.
This poem was written for the NaPoWriMo challenge for 04/02/16 in which we were asked to write a family portrait.