imprisoned, age seven



We all have photographs from our youth. But how many of us REMEMBER the stories of how those photographs came to be? The following is a vivid memory. lmr

it is frozen 

inside a sepia photograph. & i am 


its imprisoned child.

the brown child who 

grimaces inside, when the vile 

photographer demanded 

"smile..." this is what 

"happy" looked like

at seven.  after 

my father 

brushed & greased my 

defiant, black hair 

into some semblance of 

a part. tied a noose around my neck... & 

fashioned from my squirming, 

crying, wildness this 

upright afro- 

american child.

& so... 


slyly, then rebelliously, i 

became "him"... this 

little brown clown of 

robotic assimilation. 

poised and frozen in his 

best sunday clothes,
he was, i suppose
a trophy.  he

did not look or feel 

or even smell like me.

"smile..." you little fool 

this one's for 



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