How unlike my father to take her photograph
this way: like a ripe peach tugged from a tree,
his steps quiet on the garden path, a silent pose
behind her like a thief. Her body: a long, low smile
in the hammock, sleeping in a private patch
of sun, or just awake. Her face is turned
away, gold hair unwound and wound about
her nape. Shirt folded gently up, one hand
strokes her bare belly: the round melon swell
that is me. Perhaps she was dreaming just now,
of the African veldt and a lioness,
a throaty afternoon among the insects;
of a starfish slowly breathing blue. Or perhaps
she was not asleep, but reading through
a Victorian book of violent love among the heather.
And now she remembers a beautiful brown-eyed boy
who loved her, and how she broke his heart.
Her lips are parted slightly as if she wants
to sneeze, or blow a kiss, or taste the giant heat
of the buzzing cicada summer air.