What are you thinking in this picture?
How old must you be?
Better still, how young must you be? (You look like a kid.)
Who’s the other guy in the picture?
I recall seeing that smile on your face but not on your face, on others.
Does that make sense?
I’ve seen it on your daughter’s face.
I’ve seen it on your grandson’s face.
I’ve seen it on my face.
And now I see it on your very young face.
You are so full of life.
You are so vivid.
It is scary how alive you are in a past that didn’t include any of us.
Why are those who die young given such reverence?
I give it to you simply because you define my lineage, my name and my capacity to render love upon a stack of memories as young as your brief life.
I give it to you because you define those places in my heart reserved solely for you.
I give it to you because I wish I had known this kid in this picture, so happy and ready to face the world.
This kid has not a clue where life might take him.
This kid has not an inkling of his own mortality.
This kid is fearless and invincible.
His smile could light a room.
There are stars and glimmers of so much hope in his eyes.
I Ike to remember him this way.
I like to remember you this way.
And now I can.
Because I have this picture.
Years ago Gloria Estefan said it best in a song called Your Picture:
There is no way to bargain with the future
In the end there are no guarantees
Even if you’re gone I’ll always find you
Right here where I left you
Smiling back at me
Every star has a season, a moment, a reason to be
We may watch with regret as they flicker then die
But at least for one second we bathed in the light of their passing
The memory is still lasting
Through the years and the distance your image remains
LIke the first day I saw you, you’ll never be changed
As a token you left me your picture
Everyday I wake up to your picture…