Far Past the End

by Shane McCrae

After the first few months or after how

-ever long, after       they my mother’s parents

Stopped taking        pictures of me looking happy

As if against the day


They would need pictures of me looking happy

To get a lighter sentence,       I remember

Nothing of what in the first months after happened

But still I must have been


Dying, I had been       taken from my life

My life I don’t       remember once remembering

Still I was       three and I       must have been happy

Sometimes, and even with them


My mother’s parents, who had kidnapped me

Dying but sometimes hungry, sleepy

Sometimes, and even when       I missed my father, must have

Wanted to play, even when


I still remembered what he looked like, what his

Voice sounded like.       How happy must you keep the

Child you have kidnapped if you want

Him to forget?       or clap


How loud each time he turns his head to look

At something you can’t see       in the doorway? How

Far past the end of the old life is the end

Of the living memory