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family portrait 70s | by Dreaming in the deep south
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family portrait 70s

Trying to look cheerful. Our last family portrait before our parents divorced.





There are more of us.. We came out of a time when birth was happy.


We are prizes. Perhaps we shouldn’t have been so important,

so healthy. If any of us suffered war, we were pained less by the

enemy than by our ability to kill him.


Our number seems a useless power. We were sold on

dissatisfaction -- now we’re sold families but they’re no sign of

survival this time.


I am very lucky but that’s not life. And maybe no more than

any person born in any year, I want but don’t know what, feel

unsettled in a sea of similarly restless faces. The breadth of

possibility makes choosing seem evasive. We decide but we are

slow and small with doubts.


It was 1954 when my parents moved to have room for me. I

remember a box my mother packed for me to store at school,

filled with canned milk and soup and Hershey bars.


Two thousand good nights. My checked uniform on a hook.

My face to the hall light because that felt like a day in the sun.

Not fear, not loneliness, but my preference for sleeping near the

window and near the floor, humming.


~ Killarney Clary

“Who Whispered Near Me?”

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Taken on January 4, 2009