She’s borrowed someone’s hat
or someone’s tied it on—
its brim and ostrich feathers
construct an aureole around her face.
I guess the grown-ups meant
to blend a belle epoque sirène
with someone small and vulnerable:
oh dear. She almost manages to smile.
Across a hundred years
my mother looks at me,
not knowing who she’ll be, or who I am.
The picture lives perpetually before.