Photo of my father.
She made it into a heart
with her young woman hands.
Cut the edges of that rare black-and-white
like lace to frame his face.
It was his robust face looking at her
through the lens of hope--that great ship
that carries men and women across the sea
with only a few bags.
Fish may taste the iron of the rails
while the man goes sick in stormy weather.
On the pages of her album
she placed these photos
like plates on a table in a new house.
She served up the meal for her own heart.
When they came to the new country
her heart went hard. He became a stone
she could not carry. Trampling it
she yelled to high heaven--
a sharp tongue lashing the empty air.
He sailed from his home,
his heart a lost pigeon carrying
a message no one could capture.
Living in the center of a storm it is easy
to think the sun never shone.
But she cut his picture in the shape of a heart,
which we saw for the first time
when we sat remembering her.
She served up the meal for her own heart,
though we are the secret eaters
now eighty years later.