Grandpa’s collage holds beloved memories.
Black-and-white photographs of long ago
strewn with tape and paste amid the glossy
snapshots, shaping a man's love of family.
At first glance, one would think he created
his patchwork of pictures in haste. But come,
look closer; no image is placed by chance.
Each scene shares a story his hands retraced -
a joke, a kiss, a tear. See the toothless grins
of growing grandchildren with playful eyes,
the knowing looks of elders and the effortless
laughter of generations, dear faces missed.
All familiar faces except for only one -
the intruder with graceful features. Head held high,
she wears her smile unfazed. I search her dark eyes
for words unsaid, dazed. She is the grandmother
I never knew. Her portraits are puzzle pieces
that will never fit, but ones I cannot unglue
or ignore; my grandpa’s attempt of tying us
to a stranger. I love him more for trying…
For Craig Cornish's A Collage Held Dear Contest,
Copyright © Rhonda Johnson-Saunders