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One Photo

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One photo

Frantically collected

From the poised and piled

As tornado warnings proceed

The sirens repeat


One photo

Treasured among smiles, scattered

Corners curled and tattered

Taken before digital days

This face, irreplaceable


One photo

Made of thirty six Christmases

And one million memories

Warmed in the palm of my hand

Rain quickens, pelting against windows


One photo

Could easily take flight tonight

Trailing the tempest

Clutching you closer to my heart

Stay with me in this storm

My brother



Written for Sarah’s Poetic prompt, “Mindfulness and Poetry” where she has asked us to choose a small object that could fit in the palm of our hand. Explore it, write freely about it and form a poem. In light of recent devastation northeast of here, we were under serious tornado warnings in my area tonight. I scrambled to choose “what is important” and take it to the basement. Easier said than done. Thankfully, what could have been, never was. We are all safe and sound.



15 responses »

  1. There are some very powerful lines here. That final stanza pulls it all together for me – the tempest is real, but for me it also conjured up the way life throws things at us, the emotional storms we face.

  2. glad to hear you are safe, i always wonder i would take if I only had 60 seconds to leave in an emergency – you chose well

  3. Excellent poem. Glad you’re alright.

  4. Your poem really brings home the thought of what’s most important to us in times of uncertainty — beautifully written!

  5. So very touching… these days when all is digital we forget those photos we have saved… wonderful thing to take with you.

  6. Beautiful post, priceless treasure! Glad you are safe.

  7. Oh my God, this made me cry. We were staying vigilant because of tornado warnings too, and I was thinking…what would you save?

  8. A very interesting post. When the storm warnings come it changes the intensity within us. I like the preciousness of this photo of your brother. Irreplaceable indeed!

  9. Very moving. The juxtaposition of ‘One’ photo used many times as the beginning of each stanza really symbolized how it may be one item, but symbolizes so many things. Very nicely done and happy to hear your safe.

  10. Ok! this is a wonderful post. A very personal glimpse. It’s true, isn’t it? A photo can have such immense meaning when that loved one is gone. I’m smiling a bit here because I have the two babty books I’ve made of my children….from pregnancy through grade school…photos, my writing…diaries of their lives entwined with ours. I have them readily available on a shelf. And the two times we’ve had the fire alarm go off for real here in our highrise building in Boston, I’ve grabbed those two book and my purse and phone…and they go out the door with me. To me, they are irreplaceable. 🙂 I relate to this! PS: both times, small fires in someone else’s unit that were quickly put out – cooking etc.

  11. Nice remembrance of your brother through that photo.

  12. It has great significance, that you chose something so precious over household goods. I wonder what I would grab at such a time.


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