Mother and aunt

in a black and white photograph,

awkward in blouses and skirts,

arms around each others waists,

frown in awkward smiles

at the shadow snapping their picture,

month and year shortly after WW2

dashed in pencil on the back side


Behind them, their two men,

head to toe in a hammock,

lift glasses in laughter

in a backyard of short,

failing fruit trees


I‘ve been halted by the brilliance

of butterflies maneuvering over flowers,

orioles, the pacific golden plover in October,

bees too, dandelions and sunflowers,

the ocean at certain moments, wheat fields

in mornings before harvest


This 2 x 3 black and white print

of two young women,

puzzled beauties before children

peopled their lives,

squeezing together in sun lit grass,

is the most the air has shown me

of pure gold