A Second Poem

Grandson in Four Dimensions

Osirus_480Rose bought a Flip camera,

a cheap little movie maker
the size of a pack of cards.
When we pull up at Osirus’ house,
his parents are out front,
loading and unloading kid stuff.
He’s playing on the postage stamp
of sod his dad laid down.

He laughs when he sees us,
runs in circles, pounds on Dad’s car
like a drum and then falls backward
on his 22-month-old ass.
Rose whips out the camera:
“Look Osirus—over here!”

In all of this aimless motion,
I try to triangulate
the camera’s two-sided frame,
my own vantage of his retreating back
and the four-dimensional event horizon
unfolding before him with such vast potential.

Which of those angles could capture his joy,
his head thrown back laughing when he falls?
Can a cheap camcorder preserve that moment
for when everything else from today
is gone from our memories?

Sometimes we watch old movies
of such casual provenance
at formal events like weddings
or funerals or nominations for President.
On television, for someone famous
or infamous, home movies
offer the illusion that life was once simple.

If someone views today’s footage in 20
or 40 years, what will they observe
in the glint of morning sun,
pastel row houses, a white car,
or the sheer glee of being young and loved?

When I am gone and can’t tell them,
will they understand how it felt
to take my grandson to the park,
to answer his repeated two-word questions
about the kite that fell to earth,
to watch him devour a mango ice cream cone
while sitting on my lap,
or the perfection of his grandpa’s pleasure?
Not knowing what lies ahead
or where this path will take us,
how could a mere camera transmit
any of that to the people of the future?

Larry Beresford

photo by Rose Mark Copyright ©2010
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