I saw a picture of myself from childhood,

a picture I had never seen before,

a reflection of my seven-year-old self

frozen in time for 49 years

without me even knowing

it existed.  


A friend sent it to me.

“Just ran across this.  

Thought you’d want to see it.” 

I opened the email attachment

and looked into my own face,

recognizable, but unfamiliar.


I was sitting on a sled,

guide rope in hand,

forced to pose when really

all I wanted to do was race

down the hill

again and again.


I looked determined. 

I looked like I had a 

sense of purpose. 

I didn’t need anybody’s 

permission or approval.

I just needed to fly over

the icy crust of a 

Michigan snow.  


My father was in the picture

dressed in 1970s cool,

I suppose, 

if 1970s cool was

Siberian Robin Hood.  


My sister was there,

and the friend who sent 

the picture.  

I was glad to have the memory

of a day I didn’t recall,

of a time I couldn’t forget,

of a child I couldn’t remember.  


I wanted to race back 

through time 

to warn her

not to lose her Self. 

I wanted to tell her to 

never seek permission,

to always trust the sled

and fly down hills at

full speed.


I wanted to tell her

to savor each moment

like ambrosia with

a fast-approaching

sell-by date.  



she told me.  

© 2020 Deb Moore, All Rights Reserved

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