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Grainy black and whites

Fading, magenta, old color ones

Frozen in time

Faces and places

That I have spent my life

Trying to animate.


Like Doctor Frankenstein

I try to breathe life

into the long dead.


The corners curl in awkward scrapbooks

The nameless faces behind the glass

The sepia tones of the photo flapper and her mate

Encircled in a broken locket

With a picture of their firstborn.


I’ve always listened to the stories

Even the ones I wasn’t supposed to hear,

Things that only made sense

years later.


I want to know them, to interview them,

But almost all died before I came.

So listening is what I did.


And now, before it goes,

I write their lives, their stories.

Because in discovering,


Recovering them,

I find myself,

my purpose.

I am quite literally a part of them.

They are my heritage;

This is my legacy.

The stories are all I have.


(c)Lydia A. Schultz