Monday, June 04, 2007

I'll likely pull this poem down

...shortly, but here it is. For now.

The Photo Lab at Extra Foods

The line-up is long. Extra long faces.
A woman scans photo after photo,
likely grandchildren, great-grandchildren.
Scans a little girl. A girl hugging a dog,
a tractor in the background,
a steel bin, blue sky. Scans
the photographer’s long shadow.
If Darwin were alive and in line
he’d surely nod at the investment,
at the typical machine. The long
line of genes. Twenty-five 5X7s later
the line-up remains. Faces change.
People come and go. Snapshots
slip into an envelope. The origin
glossy side up. Like it matters.

Update:
June 4
- I just received a lovely email with some excellent "tweaky suggestions." Many thanks to the editor! Here's the new, edited version:

The Photo Lab at Extra Foods

The line-up is long. Extra long faces.
A woman scans shot after shot,
grandchildren, their children,
scans a little girl: a girl hugging a dog,
tractor in the background,
steel bin, blue sky. Scans
the photographer's long shadow.
Were Darwin alive and in line
he'd surely nod at the investment,
at the typical machine. The long
line of genes. Twenty-five 5X7s later
the line-up remains. Faces change.
People come and go. Snaps
slip into an envelope. The origin
glossy side up. Like it matters.

7 comments:

Anita Daher said...

Ooh! I like this, Brenda. the long line of genes...glossy side up. nice.

tracy said...

It matters! It matters!

GM said...

Nice, B. But I present to you a sketch from your future. You're visiting a highschool class and one of the kids (most likely wearing a beanie with an antenna on top) says:

"What's a .... "Pho-to Lab"? Sounds like a dog my grandparents might have owned.... And I don't get it. Are these magazine pictures? Why are they on paper?"

Face it. We should all lie down and die now so the kids will have enough soylent green.

Brenda Schmidt said...

Thanks, Anita!

Ha! I dunno about that, Tracy. By the way, a trip with Tracy led to this poem's beginning. Any trip with Tracy can and does lead to poems... :)

Good point, G. I bet Chaucer has been kicking himself around the grave for putting that darned medlee cote in The Canterbury Tales. And really, he should have known that pointes and courtepies would eventually fall out of fashion. What was he thinking!

GM said...

Exaaaaaaactly.

Zachariah Wells said...

I love "typical machine"--calls to mind both genotype and daguerreotype (talk about old-fashioned!) And the physicality of abstract nouns like "investment" and "origin," not to mention the nouning verb "matters." Very nice.

Brenda Schmidt said...

Thanks, Zach! I should give a big tip of the hat to Dawkins. I was reading The Selfish Gene at the time. And thanks again for the super tweaks. Much appreciated!

The poem I'm working on this morning needs something other than tweaking. Either a defibrillator or a shovel...