A photograph that reminded me of a photograph

This is a first draft and I may have to delete this post should Mimo Khair think it does not do justice to her own photograph. Here is a LINK TO Mimo’s Photoblog.

A Photograph that Reminded Me of a Photograph
for Mimo Khair

A friend showed me her photograph of the children who took her
away from the entrance to the Valley of the Nobles, the ancient
tombs cut from stone. In place of silence and eternity, she surrendered
to the call of giggles and handmade dolls. Small, dusty hands
clasped hers. Off she was led to their houses amid a made up chant
of her name, as if a long lost playmate had returned home.

Yellows and reds and wide smiles in that photograph
echoed a desert trip in India with my family. We expected
camels and vast stretches of nothing but sky and sand.
Not the laughter of children in bright floral saris, their hysterical
screams that made our twins withdraw. We should have
stayed a while longer in that village until their voices
settled. Instead we kept to schedule, caught
the paid-for camel ride into the sunset.

Without permission I stole their laughter,
stored it in my cellphone camera. Those children
who only wanted to play with our children
before we disappeared from them forever.

-o-

 

 

A very good friend from an online poetry critique group suggested I try shorter lines with this. So here. Please tell me what you think.

-o-

A Photograph that Reminded Me of a Photograph
for Mimo Khair

A friend showed me her photograph
of the children who took her away
from the entrance to the Valley of the Nobles,
the ancient tombs cut from stone. In place of silence
and eternity, she surrendered to the call
of giggles and handmade dolls.

Small, dusty hands clasped hers. Off she was led
to their houses amid a made up chant
of her name, as if a long lost playmate
had returned home.

Yellows and reds and wide smiles
in that photograph echoed a desert trip in India
with my family. We expected camels
and vast stretches of nothing but sky and sand.

Not the laughter of children in bright floral saris,
their hysterical screams that made our twins
withdraw. We should have stayed a while longer
in that village until their voices settled.

Instead we kept to schedule, caught
the paid-for camel ride into the sunset.
Without permission I stole their laughter,
stored it in my cellphone camera.

Those children who only wanted
to play with our children
before we disappeared
from them forever.

-o-

 

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About matangmanok

Jim Pascual Agustin writes and translates poetry. Sometimes he tries his hand at essays and stories. In 2011 the University of Santo Tomas Publishing House in Manila released BAHA-BAHAGDANG KARUPUKAN (poems in Filipino) and ALIEN TO ANY SKIN (poems in English). The same publisher released his most recent poetry collections SOUND BEFORE WATER and KALMOT NG PUSA SA TAGILIRAN. In 2015 a new poetry collection in English, A THOUSAND EYES was released. His first collection of short stories in Filipino, SANGA SA BASANG LUPA, was released in 2016. UK publisher The Onslaught Press launches his latest poetry collection, WINGS OF SMOKE, worldwide in February 2017. View all posts by matangmanok

4 responses to “A photograph that reminded me of a photograph

  • ~mimo~

    This is just wonderful!! I am so happy when things like this happen! I am so glad my photo inspired the posting of this amazing one. It only goes to show that children are children and they are wonderful everywhere we go on the planet 🙂

  • megscottharris

    This is a lovely poem! I do like the second version best– but both are sweet!

    • matangmanok

      Thanks for visiting, Meg! Been a while, hope all is fine with you.

      I rather prefer the longer lines. But I’m glad you liked it. 🙂

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