On finding an old photograph in a drawer by Stephanie Conn

I am searching for a likeness in the photograph;

trying to suggest a question to the square’s grey tones –

but every edge is black and white; even your hair’s subtle

waves are as pronounced as the craggy rocks behind your head.

Perhaps there is something familiar in the broad forehead,

but this is not your smile. Your cheeks were not these apples

where the lips end. Your legs might have been thinner once,

your shoulders may well have carried less, your hips

would still have been your own. All this is possible –

but these shaded eyes, albeit squinting in the sun, betray you,

that and the wide open space below, the smile-filled skin.

Stephanie is a graduate of the MA programme at the Seamus Heaney Centre. Her poetry has been widely published. She recently won the Yeovil Poetry Prize and the inaugural Seamus Heaney Award for New Writing. Doire Press are publishing her first collection. She is currently working on her second collection. You can read more of her work here.

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