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Photos on Refrigerator, Alika Pali
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Photos on Refrigerator, Alika Pali.

Head cocked to one side as he sits on the steps of his grandmother's house
The wiry 15-year-old boy with the thick wavy chestnut hair grins at me
As I open the refrigerator door to get the milk for my morning coffee.

I grin back.

On the refrigerator in this house filled with joy
Smiles over 60 years of photos of the boy
And his life with his bride in high school met.
Through the photos so much laughter resounds
So many changes, so many memories abound.

His bride forewarns us of his chemotherapy-wrought state.
Yet my own grown daughter and I in raucous delight roar,
"Oh my, what a very handsome head you have!"
When he grins and proudly doffs his baseball cap.
Our kisses cover his hairless, so smooth, so baby-fine pate.

Remission sprouts his hair so silver, so baby-fine, and so light
As seen in the photos of his bride's 75th birthday night.
Children, grandchildren, family and friends
Jokes, singing, dancing and hugs never end.

After a couple of years of such joyous nights
Relapse falls, the oxygen tank rhythmically strong.
He insists on going to the piano to play a ragtime ditty.
I kiss his thin cheek, so baby-fine, so light
While his bride prays that he will not suffer long.

Like the test of the protagonist in a mythic fairy tale
As her loved one, her hero turns from one form to another
The strength of her love steadfastly holds on, holds on
No matter how strange the form revealed each dawn.

The form does not matter.
Only her love matters
Only our love matters
For the boy who changes through the years
Yet still remains the same…
Grinning.

Head cocked to one side as he sits on the steps of his grandmother's house
The wiry 15-year-old boy with the thick wavy chestnut hair grins at me
As I open the refrigerator door to put away the milk for my evening tea.


I grin back.














































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Photos on Refrigerator, Alika Pali