Robin York  © 2007 All Rights Reserved

Cesia Montag With Child Near Country Bridge

She knows light is essential to photography
and that measuring distance is important.
She tells this to the boy who sits on her lap.

They hold a measuring wheel.
Before, he held the handle and rolled it, while she
counted the number of times the arrow touched the ground.

The sun shines on the bridge behind them.
Rocks are scattered across their shadow.
The boy almost smiles when the picture is taken.

When they get up, Hanka tells him about two girls
from Cottingley who photographed fairies.
She says, There was also a gnome with pointy shoes.

A gnome? he says, parting his lips.
Yes, she says, He stood on the grass and offered his hand in greeting.
Did she take it? he asks, touching her watch.

Of course, she says, Wouldn’t you?
They walk to the bridge in the sunlight.
He rolls the measuring wheel and she counts.

The photographer follows closely behind.
He thinks about wings.
On a fairy, they would be thin and strong like spider silk.

He points the camera again, waits for the moment
the sun touches the boy’s hair
in just the right place, then shoots.

Jody Helfand
Copyright © 2007


Jody Helfand will soon be living his dream: Working and living in Vancouver, the most beautiful city in the world. His poems and stories have appeared in over 30 journals and anthologies, and if all goes well, his first book of poems will be published early next year. His current obsessions include: The Secret, Stanley Park, books by Paulo Coelho, crab cakes from Bali by The Sea, Nick Cave, his family, and figuring out which books to keep before he finally moves away from a place many refer to as “paradise.”

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