Poetry: As I Looked Again

As-I-Looked-Again

The photograph:
Oakland, California,
History Room; 1918 flu
epidemic; auditorium
filled with cots of people
dying! Crosscurrents
in memory…

a little girl running our
farm’s meadow like a
young doe wide-eyed
startled wonderment;
eyes flooded, dark-ringed
in Argyrol, keep flu away!

Leaning into the photograph,
swift heartbeat, the story came…

Philadelphia; my 18-year-old
cousin, hopping his bike,
delivering, door to door,
the corner druggist’s medicines;
home, exhausted to bed,
doctor said, Too late.
He’s gone. Flu, three days, dead!

1997: photograph “in time,” emotion
feeling his dark curly hair
neatly arranged over a passive,
pale face, movement of the glide
into death, mine.

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So Many Advances in Medicine, So Many Yet to Come