Old Family Photograph Albums


 Old Family Photograph Albums


How can anything so priceless

         be so worthless?

Pictured here is a stranger

         in a strange land.

Long since dead

         with no label for a headstone.

I wonder what he was thinking

         as the picture was snapped.

Maybe a trip to the speakeasy

         or a rare peek at a lady's ankle.

From that car it has to be in the '20s and

         that flat old straw hat cinches it.

I wonder who it could be.

And look at this one of the giggling girl

         on the old cannon.

That could be Aunt Effie.

These girls are having a ball. 

Look at those sailor middies.

Do you think it was a fad because        

         of World War I?

Knickers look so strange

       these days.

Here is one at a dance.

I probably have the song

         they are hearing

         in my Jazz collection. 

This looks like the whole family

         and the family dog.

A family photo album is a thrown anchor

         from the past

         demanding time in our present.

Here and there are folks I recognize

         teasing me that they know

         the secrets of the album.

And each unknown model smiles

         a message that they have

          a story to tell.

Albums are an unwelcome inheritance.

They have too much promise

         and too little satisfaction.

Can't throw the useless things away

         nor put down the priceless gift

         from the past.

I too have an anchor

         to toss into the future,

         to keep one of life's great mystery traditions alive.










I have all of my mother's photo albums and they fascinate me. There they are frozen in time but we can get no closer than the photo. What came before and after that frozen moment is not for anyone to ever know, So much so little