The Patsy Pictures
by Patricia Brooks

Patsy till 5
Bright hair, bright smile — howl
of delight beaming through that cell:
Brooks child
Hello, Life, what a scream you are!
Just one delight after another,
my umbilical cord to you
plugged in solid, open
to every voice, and always
a winning word to say.
Hello, Life, what a scream
you are!

Patsy after 5
Never enough light
for the lens to find me.
brooks older
Under the table,
hanging behind
that chair,
that stare
of a small animal
who knows
means danger
and touch
means death.

NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR: “The Patsy Pictures” was written years ago, prompted by the author’s observation of the striking difference in the photos of herself taken by her amateur photographer father during her first five years, contrasted with those taken thereafter.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Patricia Brooks is the author of five novels. Falling from Grace and But for the Grace were published by Dell and can still be found through Her contemporary novel titled And Whose Little Girl Are You? is about the fallout from rape, especially for a young woman; it is now seeking a publisher. And after 11 years of research and site journeys, her ambitious historical novel Eagle and Child is also ready for a publisher. Meanwhile, the Mandala Journal, the literary journal out of the African American studies program at the University of Georgia, has published a key chapter, and hopes to publish another next winter, while the long work finds its way to the most suitable publisher. Patricia’s poetry has appeared most recently in Whirlwind, New Verse News, Blast Furnace, and The Great American Literary Magazine.