I am four in this photograph, standing
on a wide strip of Mississippi beach,
my hands on the flowered hips
of a bright bikini. My toes dig in,
curl around wet sand. The sun cuts
the rippling Gulf in flashes with each
tidal rush. Minnows dart at my feet
glinting like switchblades. I am alone
except for my grandmother, other side
of the camera, telling me how to pose.
It is 1970, two years after they opened
the rest of this beach to us,
forty years since the photograph
where she stood on a narrow plot
of sand marked colored, smiling,
her hands on the flowered hips
of a cotton meal-sack dress.
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Comments about this poem (History Lesson by Natasha Trethewey )
(March 26, 1874 – January 29, 1963)
(16 August 1920 – 9 March 1994)
(27 October 1914 – 9 November 1953)
(12 July 1904 – 23 September 1973)
Edgar Allan Poe
(19 January 1809 - 7 October 1849)
(10 December 1830 – 15 May 1886)
(4 April 1928 - 28 May 2014)
David Herbert Lawrence
(11 September 1885 – 2 March 1930)
(1 February 1902 – 22 May 1967)
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