Poems by Andrea McBride

A Hundred Pictures

Last summer when
you were here
I wish I had
snapped
a hundred pictures
because it ended up
being the last time
but my silver camera
stayed on the round
table next to a coffee
stained mug someone
left since morning
I could have asked
you to smile
but I didn’t
want to prolong this
or make anyone
cry
just go
if I had
those pictures the ones
that could have been
not the ones that are
of just the kids
their silly poses
crocheted hats wrapped
around their ears
you must have watched
your wife’s fingers
work the yarn
as you lay beside her
on the cloth covered couch
your elbow jutting
from underneath your head
or maybe you mulled
over a crossword
with a pencil tucked
behind your ear
or rapped your knuckles
to Tsaikovsky’s 1812
on grandma’s old formica
if I had those pictures
or just one
of your self-
conscious look
a tentative grip
on a small shoulder
I would press it
into my child’s hand
talk softly about you
ask her to remember
instead I have a
picture of your
body turned
soaking your blue
denim pant
legs in the gulf
wearing your camera
like a black knobby mask
framing our children
while they face the waves
salt their eyes
embed sand under their toe
nails that will wash
swirl down
the shower
drain.

Andrea McBride lives in Wesley Chapel, Florida and is a stay-at-home mother of two school-aged children. Her poetry has recently been accepted for publication in Bolts of Silk, Sandhill Review, and Pennine Ink Magazine.

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2 thoughts on “Poems by Andrea McBride

  1. Andrea, there are so many wonderful details in this and the sense of loss rings so true to me especially: “if I had
    those pictures the ones
    that could have been
    not the ones that are.” And I love how the poem closes with the image of the day’s beach sand swirling down the drain.

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