Thursday, April 18, 2019

A Poem of My Own

Isaac's Niece Gertrude
Although I do not have a photograph of Isaac Beckley Werner, I do have pictures of his younger sister's family, and the image at left is his niece as a young girl.

This week I will close the series of poems for National Poetry Month with a poem of my own, written a few years ago as I began saying farewell to family members including, as Ronald Reagan's Alzheimer's taught the nation, the long farewell of saying good-by to someone with Alzheimer's.

My poem is very personal, but I believe many of you will recognize your own experiences and emotions in my words.  Home movies may have disappeared, but people still use their phones to record special events with the same slap-dash scans that reduce the images to a blur, so perhaps some of you have your own blurred history, recorded by someone who moved the camera too fast.   

Thank you to the descendent of Isaac's sister Ettie for the two photographs of Isaac's niece as a young girl and a mature woman.


A little girl,
Her image fading
like the brittle celluloid
of home movies
taken by an uncle
whose camera moved too fast.
Aunts, uncles, parents--
no longer keepers
of the memories of her childhood,
their eyes forever closed.
Her brother's eyes are open,
but the camera
of his memory has no film,
an empty whirring of the reels
from which all images are lost.
Abandoned by preservers
of the child she used to be,
the woman can no longer see
the little girl reflected in their eyes.
Her only image now
reflected in the mirror,
an older stranger
who resembles more
the mother of the child
Isaac's Niece Gertrude as a mature woman
that lingers in her heart.
Abandoned by the ones
who loved her once.
       Lyn Fenwick (c)

Thank you for your support of Poetry Month.  I have been so pleased by the number of readers each week as I posted poetry.  Thank you also for the comments many of you shared.  Next week's blog will return to history.

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