In old pictures
we are happy.
We smile and put our arms
straight as boards across one another’s shoulders
we hold out prizes like large fish or new GIJoe figures
we are on opposite ends of a harsh spectrum
where life has led your mind through
myriad thoughts situations and pressures
may never actually pass
pass through mine.
(especially in the ones where
I’m still wearing a barber’s bib)
are the moments you forgot what it meant to age
to live on the border of a darker place
where the realities of your past
particularly the harshest of them
dissipate and you can once again
be who you were
with your own children.