Let’s not go back. There are no pictures.
There is no film footage of me
in K-State’s purple & white skirt.
Stop going to the library to search me out.
Where’s a picture for you? We didn’t
take pictures easily back then. I didn’t
document your absenteeism either. Why?
Why do you look for the child you dropped
like a dog in Moore Hall’s parking lot?
Too cowardly to look back? I carried
crates and suitcases inside all by myself
while you drove home to numbly pick
dandelions out from your green lawn.
You want to unearth a picture of me
smiling in matte, somewhere in time,
to hang on your wall as if you were there,
as if the sky never fell on the day
little brother cried from the back
seat, waving the longest two-year goodbye?
You can’t recover any of what was lost &
even if you do find a grainy old picture,
you’ve gotta know that old pictures are liars.
for Real Toads