Yes, that's me.
Age 14 months,
sitting on Grandma's chenille bedspread,
smiling at my Easter basket,
holding a chocolate rabbit by the ears.
I'm the one in the yellow gingham dress.
Granny made it for me.
Yellow is my favorite color.
I was 6, wearing a carnation wrist corsage.
My dad bought it at the florist's on Saturday
and kept it in the fridge overnight...
so it wouldn't wilt.
My knee socks are startling white.
If you look close enough, you'll see
my fingertips...still rainbow colored
from dying eggs the day before.
See me, holding the handle of my basket
with two hands?
I wanted to run and find some eggs;
but I was worried about scuffing my new shoes.
No, I wasn't happy that day.
I was 13 in that one.
See the Easter dress, blue and white stripes,
thin red plastic belt?
It seemed fine when I tried it on;
but on Easter Sunday, I knew I looked
like I worked in a seafood restaurant.
I did not smile for the picture
even though Mom said,
"Don't look so mad."
I couldn't wait to get to Grandma's,
change into jeans and a sweatshirt,
eat ham and homemade rolls,
and stretch out on her living room carpet
to watch my sister and cousin play hundreds
of hands of UNO.
I'm right there, 16 years old,
sitting on the back bumper
of the white pick-up truck.
That's Papaw, standing beside me.
He and I worked for hours,
writing rhymes for clues.
Papaw wanted to have
a scavenger hunt for Easter.
He said I was the best at poems.
He hid a hundred dollar bill
in a plastic egg;
and then the grown-ups
ran down Galley Street,
trying to find it first.
My poems led them here and there,
while all us kids, and Papaw,
watched and laughed.
That's me - right there...
the one dressed like Mary Magdalene.
Age 19, home from college
for spring break.
My dad, the preacher, asked me
to get up before daylight
and help with sunrise service.
I didn't mind.
I loved sunrise service...
so peaceful, so solemn.
My sister's friend
volunteered to be Jesus.
It was so early he forgot his lines
and stood there for the longest time,
I couldn't help myself.
I was overcome.
I laughed so hard my shoulders shook.
From a distance it looked like crying.
I felt awful;
but dad said not to worry,
no one noticed.
It all worked out fine in the end.
(A poem inspired by Gary Soto's "Ode to Family Photographs")