Photos of photos, by Emilie Mitcham.

The lines inside my palm

the creases in your elbow

and the code in the corner of this page

we just read.

The way the drape hangs over there,

and the pillow.

The car passing outside — who was that?

I was there, even though

they had no idea.

I stood outside and watched.

Or sat inside here, typing. But,

that happened.

Somewhere, there’s a record.


Like passengers inside those white lines across the sky. Going.

There must be evidence

of that life lived. Far away.

Even in passing,

even so peripherally.

It’s one thing to take the picture, put it on the fridge. It’s another whole

thing, to simply stand there and watch the world go. Sit quietly. Be in the corner, where you are not seen. Where no one knew.

But you were there. It’s true. And you know.

When you live like that, as if everything matters,

even the ordinary is sublime.

Especially — the ordinary.

I pause, and let that sink.

It never will.

My life leaves an imprint, un-reconstructible,

but an imprint still, as surely as

my birth.

And it lies hidden, encumbered, like a rock

under the sea.


Now you know.

Kitchen window, sunset, 2015. Photograph by Emilie Mitcham.

mediator, painter & mother of four boys

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