The Old Picture

The Old Picture

Where was I? I questioned

Every time I gazed at the shades of gray

On the vintage photo of my brother and pregnant mom

Where was I?

The gloomy faces etched on the paper made me wonder

“You were standing there, outside the frame.”

My sister told me once

For so many years I examined the lines

Of the grim faces frozen in time

Searched for a truth if it ever was one

The posers both stood by a room I remembered well

Locked their gaze to a point off the frame

Where my sister said I was at that precise moment

The room was black, doorway blocked by mother’s belly

Where was I in the tarnished frame?

Was that the summer midday when I jumped in the basin

And hit my chin hard on the faucet

Is this the echo of my agony?

My shivering body, my injured face

On my mother’s gaze seized on the paper

A short distance away, a silent moment

A dreadful calm, in presence of pain

Are they wondering why was I the one always in trouble?

Is this the seconds before my father was called

To take me to doctor, or seconds after

The punishment I received for adding blood to water

I was obsessed with a torment smudged by the time

Locked in two crooked dimensions

One day I touched the image, twirled my fingers

On an old wound, still open on the surface

Time and again hoping to see

The cause of despair

The dust cleared, haze vanished

And I saw a man trapped right in the image

Twirling his fingers in a desperate attempt

To see his mystic future in his murky past