by Anne Whitehouse
In tiny color transparencies,
these images swim up from the past
into the oval of my magnifying glass:

My grandparents squint
into the sweltering Alabama sun
next to long-lost relatives
visiting from Australia.
I am eight years old.

My mother lounges by the pool
in a one-piece bathing suit
looking younger than I remember
on a Florida vacation,
while my sisters splash in the pool.
I am thirteen.

Flash forward half a dozen years
to my sisters holding bouquets
as if they were bridesmaids
standing next to their dates at a dance
under an arch twined with artificial flowers.

In these captured moments
everyone is always smiling,
and yet I want to weep
for what will happen to us,
for what has happened already.

Anne Whitehouse is the author of five poetry collections:
The Surveyor’s Hand, Blessings and Curses, Bear in Mind,
One Sunday Morning, and The Refrain. Her novel, Fall
Love, will soon be published in Spanish translation as
Amigos y amantes. Her story, City Cyclist, will be
published in the Ride 3 anthology.