A Box of Old Photographs

A Box of Old Photographs

by Fred Collins Rights reserved Return to <Poems and Stuff>


out-of-doors snapshots,

grainy, washed out.

Low buildings, low trees,

low objects–

Tractors, combines, trailers,

balers, cars and pickups–

low horizon.

Everything crouching,

as if to hold on in the wind or

to avoid the full stare of the sun.

In posed groups,


square-jawed and squinting,

as if in defiance of toil and time

and immensity,

Resigned in the face of defeat;

Women vague,

Seeming to look at nothing

while seeing everything,

Thinking whatever women think,

destined to years of loneliness;

Small children

bewildered by glint and heat

and dust but already having learned

to stand with their hands at their sides.

Dirt everywhere;

Plowed dirt in fields and

compacted dirt in farmyards.

Coarse weeds,

Along fences and

up against

broken down tractors

and implements.

Cockleburs and gourd vines

Thistles and sunflowers

Here and there,

A throw rug of goatheads

or grassburs.

A world of hot dirt and stickers

and graves.