Flash Photography

Flash Photography

A Poem by Pen The Willows

My family was happy then,

that June day posing underneath

a great green sycamore tree

right in the center of town.

We laughed and smiled and

dammed-up tear creeks,

glad in our reunion but somber

in the face of our parting.

We were younger, healthier,

more innocent, more full of life.

We were all so sure

that we would flourish, growing

older, bigger, kinder, smarter.


(Brothers and sisters,

mothers and fathers,

sons and daughters,

grandfathers and grandmothers,

grandsons and granddaughters,

aunts and uncles,

nephews and nieces and cousins.

So many titles for only twelve people.)


We didn’t comprehend that

life can change almost instantaneously,

lightning-eyed fast, blink

and you just might miss it.

We couldn’t fathom that some

among us would transform,

mutate into someone

sick, thin, lackluster, incapable.


No one could know that one month later

my mother would spend five weeks

perpetually asleep in a hospital, or

that two years later,

she would no longer retain

every one of her original parts

as she was so proud to claim.

No one could know that my uncle,

a vibrant lawyer with a full career

ahead of him, would soon be

confined to a motorized wheelchair,

slowly deteriorating until he

could no longer hug his children

or kiss his wife

or be seen as anything

other than completely helpless.


How could we have

envisioned any of this,

with a daylight-spotlight

swaddling us in warmth

in this twinkle-in-our-eyes

Kodak-moment snapshot of

the Good Old Days? Back when

everything was halcyon

and golden? Back when

the entire universe was

an oyster, ready to turn

the mundane sand of our lives

into lustrous cultured

pearls of promise?


How could we have pictured

the sepia that would

bleed in over two years,

the grayscale after three years,

the black-and-white in four?

We couldn’t have conceived it.

We couldn’t have developed

such a picture in

the amber-tinted darkrooms

deep in our souls.


Instead, we gathered together

in the park on that

polaroid of a summer day. We

laughed and reminisced and loved

and dreamed our dreams in

sun-drenched yellows,

crisp-sky blues,

heart-song reds.


All the while, gathered together

as we were, my family was perfectly

unaware and unprepared

for the realization of

the future before us.

Ignorant of the truth

that we were overexposed,

that the paparazzi of our lives

were poised to delete our images,

ready to move on

to the Next Big Thing.

© 2015 Pen The Willows

My Review

Would you like to review this Poem?
Login | Register

Request Read Request
Add to Library My Library
Subscribe Subscribe


Added on December 1, 2015
Last Updated on December 1, 2015


Pen The Willows
Pen The Willows


I'm 18 years old and I'm in my sophomore year of college. Most of the writings archived on here are from when I was in middle school and high school, and they aren't really very good. I wasn't going t.. more..