My mother stands in the garden, dressed
in stirrup pants and a print top cropped 
at the hip. I am five, according to the date
she writes in blue ballpoint pen ink directly  
on the photograph: April 1966. I stand right next 
to her with a ribbon in my hair, wearing an outfit 
she must have sewn—a close-necked dress which
looks like a tunic, because she was always leaving 
some allowance for growth. Behind us is a row 
of hollyhocks, most taller than me. The photograph 
is sepia, but I remember the flowers were pink 
and white. I can't see her eyes shaded by cat-eye
sunglasses; can't tell if she was happy in the middle 
of that garden: roses in pots, stubby, uneven grass. 

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