At this twenty-fifth reunion, all too brief,
like water seeping through cupped hands,
I rush around with my mental camera and
snap photos of dear and old friends.
Later in the weeks to come,
during the dark winter months,
I will painstakingly travel via my dreams
into each person’s photo and
lovingly caress each new wrinkle or frown line
that has appeared since the last time.
These friends share a precious container with me.
They remember the things I have blurred out.
We can see each other’s foot prints in the snow
where we have each stumbled, stood still with fear and self-doubt,
and are learning to walk again.
(Andy Silver joined in a gathering with 30 former members of Peoples Temple, Jonestown survivors and relatives at Evergreen Cemetery in Oakland on November 18, 2003. He may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.)