What the Photo Cannot Show
In the photo two young brothers
step towards the Brownie camera;
the older may be five,
the younger sibling not yet three.
This is their backyard.
The older one appears eager
to protect his sibling: one hand
reaches towards his brother
to steady that chubby wobbler
on the uneven lawn.
The elder cannot know,
but five years after this photo
he will thrash an older, taller boy
for stealing his brother’s cookie.
Nor can he know he cannot
protect his brother against
cancer that will snuff his life
in four short decades.
All About Winning
Hey, it’s your turn to win! a disembodied voice
shouts out to me. Each morning here. Some mornings
I ignore the voice, ignore the words.
Other mornings I want to shout back at it, engage
in a personal accounting of wins and losses,
determine how I rank overall in the scheme of things.
This recorded vending machine voice hails me
as I pass it by on my usual mall walk route.
It’s just a money-scooping small crane,
a vending machine programmed like
a midway huckster, luring us over to operate
the scoop and take home the plush teddy bear.
There’s no limit to what you can win!
The machine taunts with phony enthusiasm,
though we know there are limits to everything.
What I want to tell it is that I am a winner.
Whether I have maxed out my wins, or whether
my luck is waning is not for me to say.
I do know my soul mate appears determined
to share the rest of her life with me; I’ve outlived
my parents, even my younger brother;
my limbs are all intact, and I am still quite able
to walk past without a second thought and ignore
this nameless, bodiless barker.
Glen Sorestad is a well travelled Canadian poet whose work has been published widely throughout North America and elsewhere. His poems have appeared in over 60 anthologies and have been translated into seven languages.
His most recent book of poetry is Hazards of Eden: Poems from the Southwest (Lamar University Press. 2015).