At 17
by Terrence Sykes

Is this me at 17
Found this old photograph
Google Images online
Looking for who was me
Another place & time at 17

Did you take this Polaroid at 17
Inquired this upon my cousin Carol
She has known me since we were young
All those unsorted memories ago
Back when really I was 17

Bought a pair of sandals when I was 17
… owned a blue sports coat too much like that
.…would have worn those slacks
….let my hair grow out
This must be me at 17

Perhaps there was another me at 17
Alternate lives in the same country
Did he know he had a doppelgänger
Living in that godforsaken coal mining holler
In those isolated hills of Virginia at 17

Was this merely me at 17
Parallel universes within
Falling from my grandfather’s barn loft
Rising into stars & planets above
Descending once again at 17

Back when I was 17
Was I certain who I was
Uncertain if this could be me
Alternate facts are not answers
Is this me at 17

AUTHOR’S PHOTO CAPTION: Is this me at 17?


ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Terrence Sykes was born and raised in the rural coal mining area of southwestern Virginia and this isolation brought forth the theme of remembrance to his creations, whether real or imagined. Though not traditional in his spiritual path, these traditional threads of his past are woven into his tapestry of writing. Terrence is a GASP — Gay Alcoholic Southern Poet — and Italian by rebirth who also does heirloom vegetable research & reintroduced Large Oxheart  Cabbage to Jefferson’s Monticello . His poetry-photography-flash fiction  has been published in India, Scotland, Spain, and the USA.

AUTHOR’S PHOTO CAPTION: Santa Monica, California, looking out into the Pacific Ocean, looking for me…was I ever 17