Today's poem is by James Allen Hall

Family Portrait

If I could turn the photograph, bring my mother's face
to the bright eye of myth, my unflinching lens,
you'd see she's mouthing the words: Take the picture already.

You'd see my father's lust, his loathing
molding her body into some four-legged
photogenic thing, whipped and adored.

You'd see my mother emerging from the ghost world
limb by limb, carrying on her bowed shoulders
Eros and his sadomasochistic twin.

In the dim violated light, she's marked
by a man who can't let any part of her go.
In the light my father makes in the dark,
I was mothered into art.

Copyright © 2008 James Allen Hall All rights reserved
from Now You’re the Enemy
The University of Arkansas Press
Reprinted by Verse Daily® with permission

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