Poetry Corner: A Photograph Taken in Holland, 1981

Photo by Atharva Dharmadhikari on Unsplash

A Photograph Taken in Holland, 1981

by Joanne Troppello

Three children crouched close together on the sidewalk.

Their huddled forms smiled for the camera.

They were the focus of the camera lens,

but a colorful background framed them.

Red brick, I see that in the photograph.

I don’t quite remember the shop, but the

photo helps jog my memory. I was crouching

low on the right, little brother Jerry sat between

me and brother Corey on the left.

Behind Jerry stood a mannequin. She was a

Dutch woman, little pointed hat atop her head.

She wore a black velvet dress, roses embroidered

near the neckline.

I would assume she had on brown wooden shoes

but I can’t say for sure, her feet are hidden

behind Jerry.

Three children crouched together on the sidewalk.

Seven, five, and ten years old.

The whole world within their reach.

Innocence in their eyes.

I see Oma standing to the far left of the photo.

Bundled in rabbit fur and sunglasses, our grandmother

watches us. I’m not sure who took the photo.

It could have been my mother or father. The

camera lens only looks forward. The person taking

the photograph is left out.

Three children crouched close together on the sidewalk.

Waiting for the fourth brother or sister who’s on the way.

I smile shyly under my hood. Jerry looks off to the side,

innocently averting his eyes. Corey grins into the camera.

Three together. The fourth soon to be born.

White sweatshirt with a blue windmill on the front

hangs from a rope on the shop’s door. A sign welcomes

customers. I can’t see the name of the shop, but it

must be a gift store. Tiny dolls dressed like the

Dutch mannequin grace the front. Delft’s blue sits

in the window below the dolls. I see a clock,

postcards, and large wooden shoes.

Three children crouched close together on the sidewalk

have their whole lives ahead of them. Hopes and dreams

to fulfill. I don’t remember everything about that trip.

I was only seven. I’d like to go back in time

and see who was behind the camera.

Previously published in Warm Hearts on Medium.com.

About the Poet

Joanne Troppello is a published author of 3 inspirational fiction novels and the Publisher and Editor-in-Chief of Mustard Seed Sentinel. She has experience as a freelance writer in topics such as marketing, retail marketing, health and wellness, SEO and social media, travel and lifestyle, website content, recommendations for apps, and content for blogs. Visit her Amazon Author Page for more information regarding her books. Connect on Twitter. Read more about Mustard Seed Sentinel here.

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