On the mantel place clutter with ghost
Wooden keepsake chrome in lemon care
A girl in red pigtails smiles back
An older token towered by taller frames.
Your girl is now only a shadow of the girl
Who flew home everyday
Like a butterfly not easy to catch
Smelling like wild orchids.
A moment of her life ensnared by film.
Her pear shaped face will forever be toward the sun
Your freckled tomboy always in patch jeans
Slamming through the back door in muddy Buster Browns
In your coat pocket hides a photograph of your once wild fairy.
A fairy locked behind padded rooms and safety glass.
You speak to her through a worn out Mickey Mouse puzzle.
Another visiting day she looks up at you fondly.
Her eyes filled with wonder for you and your visit.
Then like clockwork as she begins to recognize you
Then she looses interest still you visit her remembering for you both
You remember the good times before all the bad.
In that moment you become just another stranger
Who sits motionless, frameless, and in still life,
You sit with her still awaiting a spark for an hour or two.
For now, this is the very best thing for her you can do.