Grand Canyon, 1937
In a spring filled with escapes, a photographer
visits Arizona, his satchel filled with unlabeled
canisters. He carries his expandable Kodak
down and back up the many brown steps.
Lacking organization, he leaves markerless
mementos for months, until dusty piles
begin to block the light. Finally, prints find
manila folder homes: a few in Memories,
some under Magazines, still more are mailed
to the brides and grooms whose best days
financed his imminent move from Queens
to Albuquerque. He stops his Plymouth at
a Post Office in Manhattan to make one last
crass commercial gesture before turning away
from portraiture forever. The last face
he affects belongs to my grandmother,
whose eyes widen to the span of a canyon
when she finds only that great sepia gorge
in the box labeled “Milligan, June 26, 1937”.
It is spring again, and no number of buds
can tell the story of my grandparents’
first season, but one will finds its way to
the preserving pressure of a family bible with
a napkin bearing Nana’s writing, addressed
to someone clearly named, but not known.
David Vincenti is a father, husband, poet, engineer, accordionist, and bowler whose poems have appeared in Edison Literary Review and The Journal of New Jersey Poets. His first chapbook, To The Ones Who Must Be Loved, was published in 2010.