Portrait Session
by David P. Miller

His monogram tie bar battens
a diamond-checked necktie where
the suit coat buttons.

Hairspray anchors her waved bangs
above a braided choker,
wristwatch delicate as a bracelet.

The baby, my self in a onesie sack,
lists against her arm. Her hand
grasps one little wrist, arm
linked with his in a post-natal cord.

My parents’ eyesight reaches
straight for the camera. Head
lightly angled, lips almost parted,
the man’s eyes make a bargain. Here are
his wife, first child. He’s steady.
Everything else had damn well
better keep its word.

Her small smile, lower eyelids
puffed in shadowed sockets,
create her face as she presents
her lolling boy.

The baby stares cockeyed 
toward the floor, gobbling
shapes and sensations at this birth
of the whole rip-roaring carnival.
We’re in this for everything. 

This will be the longest year of my life.


David P. Miller’s collection, Bend in the Stair, was published by Lily Poetry Review Books in 2021. Sprawled Asleep was published by Nixes Mate Books in 2019. Poems have recently appeared in Meat for Tea, Hawaii Pacific Review, Turtle Island Quarterly, Clementine Unbound, and Constellations, among others.