My father naked in the photo, young
again, crouched among rocks and water. It’s an island,
a time so long ago he is thin,
buttocks tense with the pleasure
of climbing down towards beach and sea.
Who is this man who so loved sunlight,
bare skin? Somewhere inside
all the fathers
are these young men:
virginal, unburdened of thoughtful,
mysterious sons and stubborn, principled daughters.
I have the photo to prove it:
they are climbing down rocks
towards the sea. They are almost
on the beach. They are naked
and happy, filled with delight
to be crouching on the coastlines of uninhabited islands.
—Jim Moore, “The Young Men”