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Photograph- Andrea Gibson

I wish I was a photograph

tucked into the corners of your wallet
I wish I was a photograph
you carried like a future in your back pocket
I wish I was that face you show to strangers
when they ask you where you come from
I wish I was that someone that you come from
every time you get there
and when you get there
I wish I was that someone who got phone calls
and postcards saying
wish you were here
I wish you were here
autumn is the hardest season
the leaves are all falling
and they're falling like they're falling in love with the ground
and the trees are naked and lonely
I keep trying to tell them
new leaves will come around in the spring
but you can't tell trees those things
they're like me they just stand there
and don't listen
I wish you were here
I've been missing you like crazy
I've been hazy eyed
staring at the bottom of my glass again
thinking of that time when it was so full
it was like we were tapping the moon for moonshine
or sticking straws into the center of the sun
and sipping like icarus would forever kiss
the bullets from our guns
I never meant to fire you know
I know you never meant to fire lover
I know we never meant to hurt each other
now the sky clicks from black to blue
and dusk looks like a bruise
I've been wrapping one night stands
around my body like wedding bands
but none of them fit in the morning
they just slip off my fingers and slip out the door

and all that lingers is the scent of you

I once swore if I threw that scent into a wishing well
all the wishes in the world would come true
do you remember
do you remember the night I told you
I've never seen anything more perfect than
than snow falling in the glow of a street light
electricity bowing to nature
mind bowing to heartbeat
this is gonna hurt bowing to I love you
I still love you like moons love the planets they circle around
like children love recess bells
I still hear the sound of you
and think of playgrounds
where outcasts who stutter
beneath braces and bruises and acne
are finally learning that their rich handsome bullies
are never gonna grow up to be happy
I think of happy when I think of you
so wherever you are I hope you're happy
I really do
I hope the stars are kissing your cheeks tonight
I hope you finally found a way to quit smoking
I hope your lungs are open and breathing your life
I hope there's a kite in your hand
that's flying all the way up to orion
and you still got a thousand yards of string to let out
I hope you're smiling
like god is pulling at the corners of your mouth
cause I might be naked and lonely
shaking branches for bones
but I'm still time zones away
from who I was the day before we met
you were the first mile
where my heart broke a sweat
and I wish you were here
I wish you'd never left
but mostly I wish you well
I wish you my very very best

April 15th, 2010

Analyzing Poetry- Andrea Gibson

In analyzing Photograph by Andrea Gibson we open our eyes and our hearts to her words
and take in the deep emotions of her message. Whether it was her symbolic lines or pure emotion
that played at our hearts, Andrea Gibson really sent her message across.
Perhaps the relateable role of heartache is what draws us into this piece. Her sentimental
attachment to the figurative you in this poem. She wishes, no matter how far away the person
may be, that they are living life to the very best that they can. I feel like we can all relate to that,
no? Who has not truly felt the pain of heartache? It is what makes us human, to feel love and
pain. What makes some poets great is their relation of them to us. If we could not relate to a
poem or story or any piece of literature, why would we read it? However, Even the most far
fetched fantasy novels show human characteristics that draw us to reading. She mentions how
Fall is the most difficult season in this poem by stating: autumn is the hardest season/ the leaves
are all falling/ and they're falling like they're falling in love with the ground/ and the trees are
naked and lonely/ I keep trying to tell them/ new leaves will come around in the spring/ but you
can't tell trees those things/ they're like me they just stand there
and don't listen (Gibson, 14-22).
I love this section of the poem. Personally, Autumn is my favorite season. I find that this
passage is just simply appealing in terms of usage and wording. Gibson does a wonderful job
conveying these emotions to the reader. When I read this it brought up feelings of the bitter
breeze of fall and how hardheaded I can be. It was bittersweet emotion that kept me reading. All
happiness is too boring, all sadness is just depressing. It's the happiest medium of them that
creates the best poetry.
Gibson was talking about the feeling of isolation, depression, heartache, and loneliness.
Despite all the pain that her love had caused her, she still wished him or her all the happiness and
luck in the world because that is what love was and is to her. She was so infatuated with this
person that she couldn't care less how far he or she had traveled, how long he or she had been
gone- she just simply wished for a better life for him or her. She talked of how no one-nightstand could possibly ever replace the love she had. No matter how hard she tried to fill the void it
was still open.
Her poem tells a story of life, of emotion, of pain, and of love. The anguish she shows in this
poem really just take a stab at the reader's emotions which was purposefully done. It is what all
great poets do. Her usage of imagery really paints the reader a vivid picture while reading, like
children love recess bells/ I still hear the sound of you/ and think of playgrounds/ where outcasts
who stutter/ beneath braces and bruises and acne/ are finally learning that their rich handsome
bullies/ are never gonna grow up to be happy/ I think of happy when I think of you/ so wherever
you are I hope you're happy (Gibson, 52-60). Here she is talking about no matter who or what
you were you can still amount to happiness because it is a part in being human. She was head

over heels blinded by the pain that was love. She didn't care where they were now. She just
wanted safety for her love. It was unconditional, like how a mother loves her child.
The tone of this poem is a bit sad, perhaps a little dark. It expressed all her anguish and
suffering she felt in her heart while her love was away. It was a mix of letting go and just holding
on to hope that some day her love would come back. Sometimes you need to just go for it, no
matter how impossible it may seem. If you heart is in it, go for it. Then, at other times, you need
to know when enough is enough. It is all a personal decision. This is all reflecting how the
sadness of her poem was personified when she paints a bitter picture of dead leaves and the
weird kids on the playgrounds. She spoke of outcasts and the dead leaves of fall. Her love was
not dead, because the leaves would eventually grow back. They just always have to fall down
first. Perhaps she was the weird kid on the playground, but they all grow up to be something
The mood reflected the tone in about the same way. I found that I could relate to this poem in
some ways, so it brought up all those bittersweet memories of the past for me. It felt and odd
mood lingering in the air, like determination to not lose hope met the happiness that it had
happened. I think the mood also relates to the poem because all poetry is like music. How it
makes you feel is up to you. Some songs remind me of good times in my life where it makes me
happy, some music depresses me. I think poetry is just like that. The emotions it will bring, is
from your unique experiences. In my experience, I believe that this poem had a sad tone with
hints of happiness and hope.
Although Andrea Gibson's poem was packed with metaphors and similes, it was relatively
straightforward. Anyone with half a brain could honestly tell because of the emotions she shows.
The words add emphasis, but honestly, it's the tone of the poem that sets the meaning. Hoe she
carefully picked her wording, exaggerated the emotional span which made for a much better
poem. Every reader should be able to relate to the poem. In final analysis, the poem was as real
and true as words can get. I think she has successfully captured, love, pain, anguish, struggle, and
in general, the human nature of compassion. It was, all in all, a touching poem.
So, why did I choose this poem? I picked this poem because, out of all the poetry I read, this
one still stood out to me. I have read countless poems about how the writer is so deeply in love,
or has more angst then a person could possibly feel. Poems like those just seem generic to me. I
think Gibson did a wonderful job showing all her emotion without killing you with metaphors or
boring you with being too straightforward.
She writes beautifully and her writing should be recognized for that. We connect to poetry from
experience and through experience we gain knowledge. With this knowledge we have gained we
can really understand her words and what he or she is saying. We can truly understand the
writers emotion. Understanding emotion is probably the best quality you could probably have.
Anyone can go look up words in a dictionary, but to get the true meaning? That's deeper then
what anyone else could tell you.


"andrea gibson::poems::photograph." andreagibson.org :: Official Site of Poet and Activist,

Andrea Gibson :: Women of the World Poetry Slam Champion ::. N.p., n.d. Web. 18 Apr. 2010.