E=mc²

Location

49009
United States
42° 17' 44.1996" N, 85° 39' 50.1012" W

In a wooden picture frame that sits on my dresser
is an old photograph of a young man.
He has his arm around a pretty girl
and it’s all in black and white.
Even though there is no color,
I know the girl is standing in a
yellow dress: high-waisted with a lace collar.
Eight buttons straight down the front
ending at the hem just above her knees.
She’s standing barefoot in the fresh cut lawn
and in her free hand is a glass of lemonade.
It’s full of ice and the glass is sweating
and I imagine it matches her cotton sundress.
The sun is high and hot on her pretty face,
the skin of her cheeks is tight and flushed with youth
and her eyes are shining with laughter.
She looks happy and carefree and spirited
with her lemonade and her arm around his waist.
I do not know who the man in the picture is
standing with his arm around my grandmother.
I know he has a handsome face and dark hair
and he looks careful. Maybe quiet or maybe
as free-spirited as she once was.
Sometimes I cover my grandmother’s half
with an outstretched hand and I focus on him.
He has my nose and sometimes I think
he may have stolen my eyes as well.
When I would ask her about the handsome man,
she would get a wistful look on her face
and her lips would curl into a subtle smile,
but then she’d talk about my grandfather instead.

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