General ramblings, Life, Poems, Thoughts

This is a Photograph of Me

It was taken some time ago
At first it seems to be
a smeared
print: blurred lines and grey flecks
blended with the paper;

then, as you scan
it, you can see something in the left-hand corner
a thing that is like a branch: part of a tree
(balsam or spruce) emerging
and, to the right, halfway up
what ought to be a gentle
slope, a small frame house.

In the background there is a lake,
and beyond that, some low hills.

(The photograph was taken
the day after I drowned.

I am in the lake, in the center
of the picture, just under the surface.

It is difficult to say where
precisely, or to say
how large or how small I am:
the effect of water
on light is a distortion.

but if you look long enough
eventually
you will see me.)

–Margaret Atwood

I have a special connection with this poem because I always imagine where I’ll be laid to rest once I die. Which cemetery? Which town? Who’ll come to visit me? Lots of other corpses, insects, soil, trees and the smell of stale flowers for company. There is a very pretty cemetery near the place I live right now. I always slow down whenever I pass it, imagining myself being laid to rest there. I’ll put up a picture someday. Sorry if you read this post expecting a photograph of me.

Standard