The Old Picture

Where was I? I questioned
Every time I gazed
At the shades of gray
On the vintage photo
Of my brother and pregnant Mom
Where was I?
The gloomy faces
Etched on the paper
Made me wonder

“You were there, outside the frame.”
My sister told me once  

For so many years
I’ve examined the lines
Of the grim faces
Frozen in time
Searched for a truth
If it ever was

The posers both
Stood by a room
I remembered well
Locked their views
To a point off the frame
Where my sister said I was
At that precise moment

The room was black
Doorway blocked
By mother’s belly
So where was I?
I wondered all my life

Was this the summer midday?
When I jumped in the water
And hit my chin hard on the faucet
Is this the echo of my agony?
My shivering body, my injured face
On my mother’s gaze
Seized on the paper
A short distance away
A silent moment
A dreadful calm
In presence of pain

Are they wondering
Why was I
Always in trouble?

Is this seconds before
My father was called
To take me to a doctor
Or seconds after
The punishment  
For adding blood to water

I was obsessed with a torment
Tarnished by the time
Locked in two crooked dimensions
All my life

One day
I touched the image
I twirled my finger
On an old wound
Still open on the dull surface
Time and again
Hoping to see
The source of despair  

The dust cleared
The tarnish vanished
And I saw a man
Right there in the picture
Twirling his finger
Desperately trying
To see his future
In his distant past