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From the Family Album of Star-crossed Lovers

In the photograph, black-haired Minnie Ruth sits 
on a motorcycle, her pretty, young arms clasped
round Ryan Edwin, tall and not quite smiling,
his hands fists on the bars.
Depression years, 

but, motionless, posing, they seem happy 
and hopeful enough to marry and love 
three children, one my father, into being. 

We are, so many of us, descendants 
of accidental lives, of the lies about love
that people tell themselves, 
tell the world, tell one another.

In my imagination, they ride without fear,
wind in their faces, both holding tight, she
to him, he to the machine, the world 
fast moving by and beneath them,
moments pouring like raindrops
into an ocean where, years later,
I will swim to the surface
and find them living apart,
not believing anymore
what they told themselves then –
then when they were still 
impetuous, still naive enough 
to believe,
then when the world rushed
past, past, past, and they held
on for dear life to promises
already breaking.

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