after Helen Levitt’s Seven Young Boys
It’s black and white, this snapshot
I can’t shake off. Young boys,
ranging five to eight, I would guess
not from height but seriousness,
wafer-thin, in smudged shirts
ragged as the crumbling curb
they idle near. One tyke stands
in the garbage-strewn gutter as
a neighbor boy pedals a dented
tricycle into what seems a mirror
at the centre of the grimy sidewalk.
What sorcerer props up this
illusion? A frame minus its mirror,
no reflection, unadorned life itself,
the kid leaving behind one reality
for another. At his back, Walter Quay
Hand Laundry. In his sights, a cohort
out on the street. This is 1940, post-
Depression and before the ensuing
war. Mere boys, too young for
the draft, caught between causes.
Margo’s poems have appeared in Light: A Journal of Photography & Poetry, Wisconsin Review, Midwest Quarterly, Slipstream, Agave Magazine, A Clean, Well-Lighted Place. Forthcoming poems are to appear in Misfit Magazine, Civilized Beasts, Vine Leaves Literary, Burgers and Barrooms Anthology, and Echoes Off a Canyon Wall, an ekphrastic photo / poetry exhibit.
The Ekphrastic Review
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