A Polaroid Past

I don’t know much about their pasts, or 
what joke was told to make them both give smiles
that would one day be compared to my own. 
I don’t know why on earth Dad thought
his overgrown hair was a good idea. I don’t know if
they both planned on wearing the same type of collared
shirts, or why the camera created warm lines of light across
their faces. I don’t know how the old farm house
smelled with their teenage thoughts, or if Mom had already
threatened Dad that if he kept smoking, she’d
stop kissing.

I don’t know much about these memories, these
captured moments so long forgotten. 
I don’t know if Mom looked at this picture of
Dad and couldn’t wait to see his crinkled eyes
with every smile. I don’t know if Dad thought about 
smoking again, but then remembered how in love
he was with the girl with a blue-eyed laugh and
locks of blonde covering a face
that’s a lot like mine.

I don’t know about their first date or how
many jokes my dad played on my mom. I don’t
know what their friends made of their relationship (the Floyd Valley T-Bird and
Spalding Spartan), if Grandma and Grandpa didn’t like Dad 
right away, or if they could imagine their future together as husband and wife. 
I don’t know if they ever saw a daughter, a mix of the two,
carefully writing a story solely based on a couple of Polaroids.

I don’t know if that couch still exists or if those
shirts are hidden in the back of a closet. I don’t know
how or why this picture was taken, but I do know
that this was a moment perfectly planned and so very simple:
two people fell in love with the idea of a life, and thank
God for them because without those moments or pictures
or kissless warnings—
I wouldn’t be here to wonder.

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