Black & White Photo of Mom, 1942
by Travis Blair

Barely 18, arm slacked
around your younger brother’s neck
one day before he set sail for the Pacific,
you look so carefree. No thought
of Japanese bombs on Pearl Harbor.
Spending your days jerking sodas
behind a Skillern’s lunch counter,
you haven’t thought of me yet,
haven’t married my father.
You are brash, sexy,
a year away from wedding vows.

Soon you’ll surrender your breasts
to a red-haired Fort Worth flyboy
before sending him off in his B-24
to wreak havoc, Burma to Australia.
Two years later you’ll offer me
my first taste of soft warm nipple,
forever impacting
what I love about women.
Who knew what power
your bosom wielded
when you leaned into this picture,
young and cocky, posing
for bigger than Life photographs
like a fledgling movie star.


Copyright 2023 by Red River Review. First Rights Reserved. All other rights revert to the authors.
No work may be reproduced or republished without the express written consent of the author.