In the photograph dated a year before
I was born, my mother, dressed for a party,
Sits at the edge of a garden, the turquoise
Skirt of her cotton dress flared out
In a twist of a circle around her.
No other party-goers appear in the picture.
The trim across the bodice is stark white,
Fresh white the vertical trim along wide shoulder straps
Bold white the plastic frames of her sunglasses
A blush on her cheeks, hair dark, mouth open as if
About to speak. You can’t photograph words.
Vines crisscross in the distance behind her
Like a giant green net in which she is caught
Unwilling. Unable to smile, unable to resist
Or assert her desire to be out of the field
Where ripe melon mounds mark the landscape.
What photographer holds her here? Dad?
Oh, what if he had let her go?
previously published in The Apple Valley Review
Margaret Rozga has published two books: Two Hundred Nights and One Day and Though I Haven’t Been to Baghdad. She blogs about social justice issues and about poetry at http://www.benupress.com/For-Words/for_words.php