On Seeing a Photograph of My Mother at St. Joseph Residential School for Girls

By David Groulx, 2015, Ojibwe / Canada.

A black and white picture

The sun is shining through a window behind you

Your hair black short Your small brown hands folded neatly on a tiny wooden desk

Some of the girls in the picture are smiling You are not Your eyes staring into the camera Seem a million miles away

That stare I will see seldom and one day understand that storms begin millions of miles away

1 thought on “On Seeing a Photograph of My Mother at St. Joseph Residential School for Girls”

  1. David, I cried when I read your poem, for I know of the photograph you speak of. Your Mother, my Auntie, has shown me that photograph. She also told me of the time she had spent at the residential school, and all the while I held back tears for the child of that time, and the adult of the day.

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