There are three things I don’t like in poems: poems about writing poems; poems about foreign travel; and words in other languages. So here’s a poem about poetry, mentioning foreign travel, with a word in French (coquelicots means “poppies”).





The photo store has a machine that makes

old photos look good. You can zoom in

and crop on the image. It will save what’s curled

or losing emulsion. I’ve copied a few

for my mother; she wants help to remember

her dead. My grandparents pose as though

expecting to be deported. The images fade

like memories, dimmer each year.


I never take pictures, don’t like

imposing a camera on what I do or watch.

A whole year in Africa, I shot one roll of film.

Maybe I miss a lot. Sandy insisted we take

pictures of our trip to France. It was my idea

to have her pose in a field of poppies.

That’s why we have her in her flowered dress,

surrounded by Impressionist coquelicots.


Instead of photos I rely on a mental album,

with sections for good and bad memories.

The images fade but the feelings remain

and no one grows old. There are words, too,

that capture time better than chemicals

or pixels. Sometime I may write about

a smiling face in the pink dusk

of a French field of coquelicots.



  1. Thanks Lew. It is a dilemma I grapple with; capturing memories.

  2. Lew,

    I don’t know how I missed this piece, but, sufficient to say, I enjoyed it. I’d like to be a writer as lyrical as you clearly are, but, hey, I’m, alive at ninety-one, so who knows what can happen. Yes? No?

    Sid, the VERY awesome one

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