Natasha Trethewey

Photograph: Ice Storm, 1971

Why the rough edge of beauty? Why
the tired face of a woman, suffering,
made luminous by the camera’s eye?

Or the storm that drives us inside
for days, power lines down, food rotting
in the refrigerator, while outside

the landscape glistens beneath a glaze
of ice? Why remember anything
but the wonder of those few days,

the iced trees, each leaf in its glassy case?
The picture we took that first morning
the front yard a beautiful, strange place—

why on the back has someone made a list
of our names, the date, the event: nothing
of what’s inside—mother, stepfather’s fist?