Story, Value, and Becoming More Real
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Easter ’57

August 18, 2022

Leslie Bustard

Easter ‘57

is scribbled on the back 

of a torn black and white—

her Sunday dress blown by 

a breeze, his face caught  

between a squint and a stare. 


My mom was ten then. 

In a few years the farm

they labored hard for would

fail, the cows would be sold 

and a house in town bought.

Her mother would fall sick

and her dad grow weary. 


Thirty years later, we 

headed down south to find 

their gravestone, like their farm,

well-tended and tidy. 

The house in town was lost 

to wild weeds and decay. 


Mom once told me she saw

her dad in my brother—

both dark-haired and lanky. 


And me—I don’t have much 

else but a few stories 

and my love for a black 

and white of two people 

standing straight and tall on 

a sunny, windy day 

of Easter ’57. 

I started writing this poem when I was in my late teens. My mother’s parents died before I could ever know them. This poem has been worked and reworked over the years, and most recently I think I have found its “sweet spot.” With this poem completed in my mind, I hope to write more about the mystery of my extended family on my mom’s side of the family and my dad’s side of the family. I have many photos but not enough stories, and this causes many questions and thoughts on family and identity. 

Featured image is courtesy of Annie Spratt via Unsplash. We are grateful for her generosity.


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  1. Susan says:

    Oh, Leslie, this is evocative…and lovely. The legacy of family, even if we’ve never met them, can be so significant.

  2. Cheryl says:

    Tender, beautiful, yearning – and Evocative also came to my mind as I was reading it! Thank you for sharing, and best wishes on your continued research and writing.

  3. Donna says:

    Leslie, Your words stirred up feelings in my heart about the Grandpa that I never knew but only saw pictures of too. The poem is a “sweet spot” as you say, just raw and lovely. Thank you for sharing your heart with us.

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