[33] Photographs of my father as a young boy, Timothy Stobierski

Photographs of my father as a young boy
show him washed out
on Christmas morning
holding a box of magic tricks
and grinning like a drunk,
his siblings gathered round
in pajamas
waiting for a show;
in the summer with his brother
shirtless on the porch—
smooth and soft—
one hand on his hip
pivoted to the side
with the flamboyancy of youth;
at a small kitchen table
in a striped shirt
a size or two too small,
eating toast
while his mother stirs
something on the stovetop,
a look in his eyes
making clear
that whoever is behind the camera
wants him to
sit still, God damn it!

Please, don’t yell at him.
He’s just a little boy.


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