The Photographer

by Lorie Allred
Mother hovers
over her father's
body, camera
phone in hand.
This is the last snap
before the lid
comes down.

Stand beside him,
she says, and I go.
He lies still, eyes
forced shut.
He looks good,
doesn't he? That suit
always looked good
on him.

Grandmother tells me how
her mother, Mama
Barker, captured
the dead on film.
I was cleaning
out the attic once
when a box fell
from my hands, spilling
papers, pictures
across the floor.
She turned
and shut her eyes.
Don't look—if you look,
you never forget.

Lorie Allred earned an MFA in Creative Writing from the University of Alaska Fairbanks. Her poetry has appeared in such journals as The New York Quarterly, The Sun, and Evening Street Review, and is forthcoming in The Smoking Poet and Victorian Violet Press. Besides reading and writing, she loves cuddling on the couch with her animals while streaming episodes of her favorite TV shows. She currently lives with her husband, two dogs, and two cats in North Carolina.

© 2012, Lorie Allred