I was four in this photograph fishing with my grandparents at a lake in Michigan.
My brother squats in poison ivy.
His Davy Crockett cap sits squared on his head so the raccoon tail flounces down the back of his sailor suit.

My grandfather sits to the far right in a folding chair,
and I know his left hand is on the tobacco in his pants pocket because I used to wrap it for him every Christmas.

Grandmother’s hip bulge from the brush, she’s leaning into the ice chest,
sun through the trees printing her dress with soft luminous paws.
I am staring jealously at my brother; the day before he rode his fist horse, alone.
I was strapped in a basket behind my grandfather. He smelled of lemons, He’s died-but I remember his hands….

Rita Dove

Category: Family,