Fading Photographs

I have an ornate cardboard box,
quite large, with lid and metal handle,
stuffed to overflowing with tangible
memories, crackling paper photographs.
I treasure most the black and white
that echo with my mother’s laugh,
when her eyes were wide and bright,
her skin was smooth and her hair was soft,
when she could lift me up
and hold me in her arms.
I love those fading stills of childhood, I miss
my mother’s hug and tender kiss.
The only image I’ll allow to fade
is in my head, the one of her last day.

Kim M. Russell, 2017


My response to dVerse Poets Pub Poetics – One Memento

Our host this week is Mish, who says that, with winter soon bidding us farewell, we curiously become caught up in the ritual of ‘spring cleaning’: sifting through old bills, hauling off clothing to the nearest thrift store and looking for new ways to organize with limited closet space.

For Mish and me, the most difficult part is the process of purging. What do I keep and why? Will I ever use it? But then there are those special mementos, those dusty treasures we will never part with. Mish has shared a poem called ‘Mementos, I’ by W.D. Snodgrass that sums it up nicely, that you can read by following this link: www.poetryfoundation.org

Mish has asked us to write a poem about one memento. We may use a souvenir from our travels, a photo, a keepsake from a special moment or event, through which we channel the emotions and significance they hold for us, sharing a little piece of our past, a glimpse of who we are.

38 thoughts on “Fading Photographs

  1. Very moving, Kim; how wonderful to not only see her young and beautiful but to remember her laughter. It’s hard to have the later images of our aging or ill mothers in our mind as well. Well done.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Thank you, Kim, for sharing this very precious part of your heart, with your poem, for it brought memories of my dad, for me. His huge grin that lit up his face, when he shared it, with us, in the photos that my mom has, of him.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Oh Kim….this is so beautiful. I had the privilege, and I truly mean that, of being at my mother’s side when she took her last breath. But it was not pretty like in the movies. And I understand exactly what you mean here….I try to remember the photographic images and all the other moments and that death moment, although I am glad I was there — since she brought me into this world, I was there to help her leave this world…yet that moment and that day, I do not want etched in my mind. Prayers to you as you are still on this journey of leaving, even though your mother has left this earth.
    Beautiful beautiful words here, Kim.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Lillian. I’m still not in a good place but at least I know that Mum is now. I miss her so much, even though I didn’t see her as much as I wanted to and we couldn’t talk on the phone like we used to. It was comforting to know she was there.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. i can relate to this so much, thank you for such a loving tribute to a woman that has shared her heart with you, through her laughter that you can still hear, so much warmth and love in your few words.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. This is beautifully written. Unfortunately, I lost my mother to Alzheimer’s long before she passed to what comes after. It was hard to get back to the good memories.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for commenting Bev. I’m sorry to hear about your mother. My mum also had a form of dementia, called Picks disease. She went downhill very quickly but it was pneumonia that caused her death in January. I won’t go into detail but my younger sister moved her without discussing it with me and it was a long trip to visit, so I wasn’t able to see her as much as I wanted, so each time I did the change was drastic. She is in a better place now.


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