Pensive, looking sideways, unfocused eyes,
perhaps wondering about her future.
Now flight-phobic, terrified of takeoffs.
To ease her anxieties I had suggested
we bring and talk about photographs of ourselves,
at ages five, and ten, fifteen, and twenty.
We examined the pensive ten-year-old girl looking sideways.
The woman she had become started to reminisce
about her family, her school,
and what the girl in the photograph most cared about.
It was just a few minutes’ distraction, to ease her fears,
neither of us anticipated the flood of sobbing tears.
Kieran Egan lives in Vancouver, Canada. His poems have appeared or are forthcoming in Quills (Canada), Literary Review of Canada, Dalhousie Review (Canada), High Window (UK), Orbis (UK), Raintown Review (USA), Envoi (UK), Shot Glass Journal (USA), Qwerty (Canada), Snapdragon (USA), The Antigonish Review (Canada), Acumen (UK), Canadian Quarterly and The Interpreter’s House (UK); also shortlisted for the John W. Bilsland Literary Award, 2017 and for the TLS Mick Imlah prize 2017.