Missing

They are not lost
the photos - those docusnaps
indelible chemicals of time
polaroid, 35mm, blow ups
a film of ages
dodging the viewfinder
stills that moved to blur
eyes shut with the shutter
a grin, grim as the contortion
of that smile command.

Not lost just let slip
the grasp. Redacted
cut aways of regret
like throwaway lines
the tongue spat before tact. 
I prefer
that I was never there.

For Merril’s Poetics prompt: Are you listening, we are asked to choose two from a given list of podcast titles for inclusion in the poem. Not Lost and I was Never there are my selections.

39 thoughts on “Missing

  1. Your poem makes me think of a Hitchcock film. I’m not sure I can explain it, but I see black and white images like a movie scene.

    So many wonderful lines, Laura.
    I love “Redacted cut aways of regret like throwaway lines. . .”

  2. I like how the prompt lines led you to photography,Laura. I also love ‘Redacted cut aways of regret like throwaway lines’, and ‘eyes shut with the shutter’.

  3. Very well done, Linda. Photos and photography have really changed in our lifetime. Sorting through old photos… throwing out our worst looks… a necessary job. Save the best… just like our memories!

  4. Pictures do tell a story, and what it is depends on the viewer’s perspective. There is an atmosphere of discomfort and secrets here, probably best left untold…

  5. Yes, I too get a faded black and white feel from this poem, memories of not wanting my picture taken, being stuck with the fact of them for years later when they show up in a box, a drawer, an album.

  6. Lisa got it right, an atmosphere of discomfort. Photos can reveal very unsettling things, things we didn’t see at the time. (K)

  7. I’m increasingly interested in how we present ourselves in photographs. There’s a real sadness to this, for me – not wanting to be seen or recorded – I understand that, but it feels unloved.

  8. Oh yes documenting memories. I have so few photos of my life, I simply never kept a photographic track of my comings and going‘s. I often now wish I had them, but I have them in memory, perhaps romanticized. But maybe the romanticized memories are more glorious than the photos would have been. Excellent peace Laura, made me think, I enjoyed it my friend. 🙂✌🏼❣️

  9. like throwaway lines the tongue spat before tact
    WHAT an amazing statement! The use of the verb “spat” fits so very well here….a person with no tact, unable to filter what he/she says….

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