by Sean Thompson

a narrative haiku

When my father died
He left behind nothing but
Dust, and rolls of film.

The film’s current state
Matched that of our family:

My sister and I
Put the boxes in the car
And drove in silence

A family trip?
Missing baby teeth? The dog?
Early memories?

Maybe something bad.
Another wife, or daughter?
Will I regret this?

We leave the pictures
The lady smiles. Name tag: Jill
“We’ll get these ready.”

And now, time to wait
Doubts in my head, I feel sick.
What was my father?

An honest husband?
Why then, were they in the safe,
Where no one could see?

Packet in the mail
The opener waits, ready.
But should I do this?

Are questions better,
When they remain unanswered?
Do I need to know?

I should leave the past,
Keep my happy memories,
Let sleeping dogs lie.

I must know! Inside,
A note? “Your photos could not
Be developed.”

Sean Thompson is a writer from the deserts of Arizona. He can be found at He is currently writing a novel.