Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Overlooked


That day
we set out at noon
when the sun was high and warm,
Maisie, Tunisia and I.

Harold had cleared the pond.
We heard the scrape of his shovel
up to the house. Mama
bottled hot chocolate as we
gathered our mittens and
sharpened our skates.

It was our last winter together, we three cousins.
Maisie soon married a man from Alberta, Canada
where she proceeded to have twelve children
and five dogs.

Tunisia contracted tuberculosis,
was sent to a sanatorium,
and never returned.

And I, I took my camera,
the one Harold used that day
to capture us,
and moved to New York City.

You will not have heard of me
though I did well in my time,
the little camera a heart beating
in my hands,
my eye, awkward at first but later
sharp and witty.
As good as Imogen Cunningham I was,
just overlooked.

Photo courtesy of Willow. Read more poems and stories based on this photo prompt here.

29 comments:

Lisa at Greenbow said...

I would loved to have known these ladies. Your story is great Suki.

Annie said...

Wonderful Suki. Thanks for sharing this. I feel overlooked at times too.xoxo

Leslie Avon Miller said...

Good story! And the third women looks just like you!

kj said...

oh my god suki, this is an amazing poem, worthy worthy worthy.

"we
gathered our mittens and
sharpened our skates."

i love this line. i can't say why but i do. this is my very favorite of anything you've done.

Margaret Bednar said...

...just overlooked. So much talent is. But at least it gave her joy, I hope. Sweet story.

Lynn said...

Leaves me wanting more.......
Wonderful photo, wonderful writing.
Bravo!

Robin said...

Another great poem Suki! Perhaps it's time you think about putting a small collection of them together......

I love how you have captured a moment in time.... your words absolutely suit the photograph.

I hope you and Bibs are keeping warm!

Love,

♥ Robin ♥

Mim said...

This is wonderful

Martin H. said...

Yes, I like this. You've woven a nice story here.

Lyn said...

Really love your talent, both as a writer, and as the almost famous photographer!

Suz said...

Oh I enjoyed this one
a gem of a story told
here...

Kristen Haskell said...

Life certainly was so different in those days. Can you imagine going to a sanatorium and never returning. The very idea is frightening to me. I guess back in the day death was not the only thing to "make it the last time together" just circumstance.

Helen said...

This is a wonderful Magpie!!!

Suko said...

This poem is a story that comes to life. Wonderful!

Reflections said...

Wonderful write... could feel for each through the imagery you created. Love the eye improving over time, just unnoticed is all...

Marilyn said...

A wonderful story ...she was just overlooked. Your words twll so much.

Marilyn said...

Sorry for my typing error.
I meant your words tell so much.

glitz said...

Wonderful writing, Suki. It's very thought provoking and gentle.
I have pondered this for most of the afternoon. Thank you!

studio lolo said...

This is wonderful Suki. It reads like a memoir ringing true.

It reminds me of a movie you shared with us once about a woman photographer. Was it Cunningham in your reference?

really lovely Suki.♥

Kimmie said...

I wonder if you've heard of Vivian Maier? She is a recently discovered photographer of Chicago street scenes in the mid 20th century. I love this piece. It has stirred my imagination :)

Interesting that you have a woman named Tunisia who dies tragically ... So sad and true to life (I hope not)

layers said...

what a great story and told in poem form is wonderful

~Babs said...

Suki, have I told you how much I adore your poetry?
Okay, I'm telling you again!
:-D
And still saying a book of your poems with your awesome photography would be so wonderful.Your header photo is exceptional.

Katiejane said...

What a wonderful little story about this photo! You must be one of those people who can sit in a room and create stories about everyone in it. I never could do that. So fun.

...louciao... said...

Poignant.

Sue J said...

What an interesting piece. I love that we know what happened to them all.

Cad said...

And some stories remain for ever behind a coamera, never in front...

chewy said...

A super Suki poem. Perfect for my snowy day.

Chrissy said...

love the the imagery of the camera as a beating heart...the camera sees what it sees and tries to capture it as if it is alive and acts on its own....

Lena said...

Loved this one. And hats off to Maisie! Twelve is an amazing amount!