Like many I fell for a Facebook trend recently which consisted of posting your senior photo in support of this year’s graduating class. I don’t actually have my senior photo anymore because it was a few years ago, but I do have my old yearbook, so I pulled it out and took a pic of my old photo. And posted it with some encouraging words for this year’s seniors who are basically missing out on a pretty fun part of their lives while we take our corona break.
But I started thinking. Was that post more about me than it was the seniors? Probably. I mean, I looked good at 18. We all looked better than we do now, let’s be honest. I got a lot of nice comments on the photo, too, and those are always good. But how in the hell was it supposed to make today’s seniors feel better?
So, as an act of contrition, I wrote a poem, and not just any poem, either. An Italian sonnet, which is widely regarded as a difficult form. Here goes:
Lost Days (for the Seniors)
By Michelle Garren Flye
Just a worn out page in an old yearbook,
A memory captured in a photo.
Days gone by in years long past, but lo!
Posted here now for you to take a look—
To show you we know what you forsook.
Has anyone ever been dealt such a blow?
Taking your freedom, knocking you low.
But we’re here with you, do not be mistook.
Wait! Is it possible we are in the wrong?
What is an old photo but a memory kept,
An experience savored in celebration?
This is what you’re denied all along.
These lost days are what you have wept—
While we make posts of self-congratulation.