In Celebration Of

From Writing Notebook 2021.

In Celebration Of

that hilarious photograph
my most embarrassing childhood moment
on display piano-top in a fancy silver frame
for all the party guests to see

my parents who still ask
why can’t you take a joke
bent over
they scream with laughter

the guests who titter
and then fall silent
unclear on the etiquette
of this situation
I think I will try the salmon puffs
they edge toward the buffet table

all the faces, though
turn to me
when I throw the photo
frame and all
into the punch bowl
ginger ale and ice cream
swallow it up
It sinks
into a sticky
hitting bottom

The frame clunks against the
antique glass and then
all is quiet

Except for me.
That hilarious photograph
after all these years
has finally
made me laugh.


8 thoughts on “In Celebration Of

  1. Hehe! I suppose you were just waiting for the right opportunity! I don’t think my parents would have ever done anything like that to me and so I would have never been compelled to make a photo attempt to swim. I think it justifiable photocide!

  2. I really love that final stanza, the triumph over years of oppressive embarrassment. I really like the way the focus on this one very specific area of conflict speaks to a larger relationship between the subject and their parents.

    • I can attest to the truth of this poem from my own life (though this incident did not happen, I just imagined it from a chance thought about family photos).

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