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Personal poems recount lived experience so it is re-felt, but with resolution, rising above the tragic.

Writing Personal Poetry,’ Sheila Bender, p4

Sometimes, eyes can play tricks. What seems solid and tangible is only a shadow, possibly your own. You try to get hold of what you love, but it fleets downstream. You choose a setting, you hold a camera, you level a fixed lens, you get just the right aperture and the shutter clicks firmly. You have a perfect image, but not the original you desired. At least you have that image to hold onto for a long time afterwards. Even then, it can still play tricks, watching you, reflecting the light this way and that, catching a smile, wandering and jagging like a fishing line pulling at something, possibly your heart.

Optics

Every night that river chased dreams
like sleek fish
running from the echo
of sleep.

Rivers seem so simple now:
just filling themselves
endlessly,
no emotion to speak of.

You stood in a doorway,
I took a photo,
and there was a river
dancing behind.

You, the one clear eye
I craved and strived to
capture neatly in a
single frame.

That horizontal string
of sparkling promise
you always offered,
that river I can still taste.