My daughter gave me a selfie stick,
said that mom told her I was the one
always taking pictures of myself.
I protested at first, then let it go,
thought of all the photos on Facebook
that were of me as a baby up until now
and the hundreds of transformations
in between. Was I vain? I didn’t
think so. I know my mother
would be critical of the way I looked.
She was beautiful and her children
had to be beautiful, except my nose
was too big and my feet were better
kept covered. There was a time
when I thought my looks were all
I had, but I didn’t trust that either.
I look at those photos and wonder,
who is that baby, boy, teenager, man?
What was I thinking in my swallowtail
tux, a buzz on, the sun setting behind me,
high school done and never begun?
Why that sad look on my face?
I’m holding a toy gun, about to cry.
I’m always about to cry even when
I’m smiling. I think we all are.
by Billy Howell-Sinnard
Editor’s Note: This poem subtly emphasizes one of the problems of social media—what is true? Are we all crying behind our profile pics?