Joseph Rosenstein

Lawn Chairs

Holding the photograph in my hand
I imagine what it would be like
for the four of us
to be sitting together on lawn chairs,
me and my cousins,
reflecting together on our lives,
on sixty or more years of living,
reflecting together on life and its lessons.

What stories we share,
Shmuli, Aliza, Zama, and me,
reclining in our lawn chairs,
smiling at our memories.
The different paths we chose,
our successes, our failures,
our children and grandchildren,
our loves, and our losses.

I look at the picture again.
The lawnchairs are there,
but only three and quite small.
They are occupied by smiling children,
Shmuli, Aliza, and Zama
leaning forward in their lawn chairs
and smiling toward the futures
that they never had.

So I sit alone on my lawnchair
on this spring day of remembrance
with feet dangling as in the picture
and wonder if I lived their lives as well as my own.