i d r e a m y o u s e n d a p h o t o g r a p h
D E I R D R E O 'C O N N O R
People of all ages, gathered in your kitchen.
Men in turtlenecks and beards, women my age
who seem so oblivious to the camera I want to be them
for a second, in a room with you, unperturbed.
One with a silver bracelet like mine, her head thrown back
in laughter - well, something is terribly funny, or someone
is funny, though not the old man on the single crutch
who lifts his foot to the light. Perhaps he thinks he's funny,
perhaps his cast is flourescent pink, the crowd enjoys
the envious shine in the eyes of the children looking on,
shine of the not yet broken, their tousled hair, the games
they played in the yard. Or perhaps it's the look
of the scene itself that makes his funniness less amusing -
steam of the heat one senses, food and elbows,
fingers moving towards mouths. Or the clink of what is not heat -
chilled bottles meeting, ice in a bowl, the small girl
lifting the lid of the antique mailbox on the wall.
It might have held a letter he sent to someone
when he was young, the world is so small.
He's not funny for a reason I can't decide on, only that,
a lack of humor in the gesture as I see it, something
pleading in his face looking at you as you take
the picture, black and white, in which he stands
beside your wife, first time I see her. See she's beautiful,
sad, tired. Probably tired of looking at you as I
can't see you. Probably tired of hosting the party.