Wednesday, September 22, 2010

The Nestles, 1943, On a Park Bench in the Bronx

As the world swirls around me, and my body struggles to hold its ground, this image of Regina, Elliot and me came back into my hands. I had given the original to the Lesbian Herstory Archives, along with the rest of my papers; Saskia, one of our long standing coordinators, and a wonder with images, sent me this copy. Because I see this site and the original "Don't You Ever Stop Talking," as my last hold on time and space, I now send this black and white image of three people who formed what I came to know as family. My mother, Regina, dressed in her work clothes, centered, with her dependents, her children around her, my brother, who died this year, holding what seems to be a candy pipe, and myself, on stocky legs, looking out at the world, warning it not to come too close.
It is my mother's gloved hand, resting on my shoulder, that moves back through the years, the primal touch, on my three-year old shoulder, the weight of it, the sense of responsibility, the journey ahead that would eat into the vestiges of respectability. All I see on my screen now are the legs, the shoes, stockings, socks of the three Nestles, the scruffy shoes of my brother with is stripped socks, my mother's work shoes, too tight, but fashionable in a Bronx way, with the flower flourish and the toes peeping out, and then my white solid little girl shoes tightly laced, my legs that ache so much now. The strength made frail by the human journey into time, my one little moment of it, I the only remaining voice for now, who remembers the streets beneath these souls.

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