I watch the stitched-together
snippets of home movies.

Imagine my aunt’s red hair.
Imagine her infectious giggle
and the grunts of my uncle—the one
whose hair is parted in the middle.

Imagine the thuds from arrows
smacking the target on the lawn,
and the chattering of children
in paper party hats.

Here is properly corseted Gram
standing stiffly with Gramps
in front of the house he built
on Utica Street.

Can that be my father in the rowboat?
The young man who empties fish
from a basket onto the ground?

I lean forward, attempting to commune
with the cameraman,
who is long dead, as are all but one
of the children at the party.

Show us his face, I implore.
Don’t be in such a hurry to move on.

The Art of Patricia Whiting