Carin Perron: Poems & Prose
Hiding Quietly in the Photo

This poem was written in 1981, after finding an old, out-of-focus, black & white photograph of myself when I was 10 or 11. I was dressed up as Malinda (my deliberate variant spelling) Darbyshire, a character in stories I wrote at that age. I had on a long, platinum-blonde ponytail pinned to my head as a makeshift blonde wig, a straw hat, a diaphonous sleeveless dress, and white stockings. I was standing near the corner of the house I lived in until I left home at the age of 18. The photo is very blurry: my face is a smudge, and the rest of the picture just an impression. A basement window is clearly visible, and I imagined my father in his basement, doing woodworking.

There is a kind of triple distance -- time, the photo, and the disguise, that allowed me to write about myself. I have always found it difficult to write about myself (too much information to know where to start, too boring, too uncomfortable) without some interceding focus, like this photo, or a dream. Generally, I much prefer looking outward.
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