Jesse Lee Kercheval The 2River View, 8.2 (Winter 2004)
Photograph in Black & White

Two girls in cardigans, small sisters holding hands, a pond so still the ducks float like painted birds. Overhead, something grey, not a gull—a kite? The cotton white of clouds. I don’t know when this photograph was taken, or even where, but the winter sky makes us shrink, grow younger, standing there.

We are not children anymore.

This is what was, not is. Still, we are standing there, a message in a bottle sent floating through caverns underneath the mountains, winding, spinning clockwise until we land, on the table, in the moment that is now.