I’ve seen you in recently taken pictures.
The niceties of souvenir t-shirts, under the sun of the south.
Fuck me, maybe you’ll soon have two of your own.
But for the moment, I’m sure they’re close enough.
For them, you stand near the back with a smile.
When they grow up, they’ll remember you, and they’ll recall the warm Florida air
the way I did in pictures and in trinkets.
I found my lanyard of park pins in the attic a couple weeks back,
While my mother and I were emptying the house
For the realtors to take their photos of the place set right.
The Buzz Lightyear pin, that used to flash when the battery was still good,
Was the one I remembered the best.
Like when I was upset as a child, and you jumped on my bed to cheer me up.
“To Infinity and Beyond” you yelled,
And your weight broke the wooden bed frame,
And thereafter we held up the shattered support with old books.
I can almost remember our old house back then as it was,
In pictures with our old dog, and the tiny back yard
where the previous owners had left a rusting boat hull.
In new pictures,
you don’t look much older than you did in ones of you and me,
as if you were made young again.
I’m older now, then when my hair was bowl cut,
and I barely came up to your waist.
It’s not their fault, I try to remember.
But I can’t help but think when I see them,
of your excuse.
“We’re not the only family to end up this way.”
And in that vein,
I can’t help but reply to you, as you retrace the things,
you taught me, a second time anew.
“How painfully, abhorrently common”
In the pride of your fresh start.
With those mouse-ear hats,
And those God damn smiles.