Within the Lines

I hold up the photograph and we move our heads closer.
Yes, this was the one we’ve been looking for.
Two toddlers: a blond, thin, grinning girl
and a smaller, chubby boy
holding her hand.
“I can’t tell if we’re smiling
or the sun’s in our eyes.”
I furrow my eyebrows as if to sharpen the image.
“I wonder if any of that is still there,”
you say, and wave your index finger around
the forest background.
The worn branches blend with the wooden archway
framing the children; the tree limbs reach out, seemingly
growing; and those small, interlocked fingers—minor details now—
almost disappear.
“It’s been, what, twenty-five years?”
I put the photograph down
and we talk about the weather, but I still see that wooden archway.
We know what we became,
what happened to the rest?

– Greenhills, OH


Taken in Seattle, WA