Hidden Behind a Thicket of Fingers

Hidden Behind a Thicket of Fingers
By Sy Roth
He hid behind the thicket of his hands
memorialized youth lost to the daytime.
The camera, cross in the face of Vlad Dracule,
he giggles at,
shutter snapping the back of his head.
I glide through the photo album and wonder
what he looked like.
Turn the pages on Pan’s Lost Boy
hidden behind his sister,
green iris blooming where the fingers did not fully meet,
or tucked beneath his brother’s arm,
a tooth peeking out of a laughing tongue.
The game unclear,
but suppose that youth eluded
remains forever wrapped in a conundrum,
hints at relationships enfolded in whatevers
without ken.
He remains a callow bystander.
Pretends that time eludes cameras and memories,
his middle age, a pre-pubescent frolic with the others
that he now captures ex camera.

1 thought on “Hidden Behind a Thicket of Fingers

  1. Intriguing. The poem’s narrator is focusing on an image of a boy either covering his face with his hands, turning his back to the camera, or in a group shot “hidden behind his sister” or “tucked beneath his brother’s arm,” always mocking becoming a memento. His youth thereby eluded, his relationships with his family and friends become a “conundrum.” It’s as though he were whisked away to Neverland with Peter Pan’s lost boys, or “remains a callow bystander” to real-life goings on. He “pretends” that he can elude growing up and later relates to his middle-age peers only as a child. That’s just a paraphrase. The poem seems too “wrapped” in personal experience to define how the subject is behaving “ex camera,” yet nevertheless invites speculation.

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