Poem: Late Interior


From an old photograph

of my mother and grandmother,

the look of my daughter . . .

Nineteen forty-seven,

the two women smile,

arms delicately linked –

one the same age as the century,

the other turning twenty.

In the window’s gently

falling curtain of lace,

between sunburst and cloud cover,

whosoever took the photograph

is just about discernible –

my soon-to-be-father

in his new postwar life or,

more likely, the man-to-be my uncle –

goofy-toothed, sleeves rolled up,

skinny as a rake, making faces

at this little family before

they all go back in again,

through the dim hallway,

by the monk’s bench,

good chairs and grand sideboard

of a painted scene.