Fading Photograph

By Maureen Eppstein

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My parents’ faces in the photograph
(a formal portrait in an oval frame
to celebrate their sixty years)
are fading to a ghostly blue.

It’s premature, some weakness in the ink.
I feel it as my own ambivalence,
residual resentments, sibling jealousies
dissolving pigment into sadness and regret.

In ancient graveyards, time and rain
reduce a chiseled stone to formlessness,
to what degree depending
on the hardness of the rock.

– Maureen Eppstein