Two Poems By Scott Wiggerman

The Photographer

	for Carol King

She’s good at hiding, even in photos,
her face behind a camera—but here
she is a ghost, image that’s white as woes
and distant, substance lost in glass. Veneer
of skin as seen through gauze, a filter blocks
her mouth, her eyes, revealing all she wants
to show: enigma. Absent of contexts,
this transformation, an aura that haunts.

A copy of herself? How can this be
reality? Is she intent to blend
into the other like a wisp? We see
the product of her lens—and that’s her end.
For photographs hold many secrets, light
and dark, both her refuge and her insight.

Remember how you used to scan the skies,
delight in clouds and stars? But now your gaze
is grounded, looking up is compromise.
How supple once—before the crooked days,
a spine that hunches forty-five degrees
and cannot be bent back. You know the flaws
of each floorboard, each hardwood creak and wheeze.
Your gait, a stutter of thick shift and pause.
Old age has not been kind, a challenge now
to reach a cup, to meet a face, to rest.
Life is a downhill spiral, yet somehow,
like branches bowed to earth, you don’t protest,
just lower with each passing year. When I
am you, will I slope too, stare low, not high?

Scott Wiggerman is the author of three books of poetry, Leaf and Beak: Sonnets, Presence, and Vegetables and Other Relationships; and the editor of several volumes, including Wingbeats: Exercises & Practice in Poetry, Bearing the Mask, and 22 Poems & a Prayer for El Paso. Poems have appeared recently in Coastal Shelf, Naugatuck River Review, San Pedro River Review, Kingfisher, and Modern Haiku. His website is:

One comment

  1. Scott: Masterly crafted, with a tone that instantly engages and never flags. Simply beautiful pieces on many levels. Bravo!


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