says the small boy in the snapshot,
“why I’m smiling.” He’s sitting on his uncle’s lap
with a book.    

“I remember that photo,” I tell him. There are
the 45-rpm record player with the Disney characters,
and the old radio with the honeycomb plastic
over the speaker and that round, lighted dial.
“I can still feel my fingers fitting into each square.”  

“That’s not while I’m smiling,” he replies.

Being with a book will be where he’s happiest
from here on out, being with a magical uncle,
who built his own house, brought us books on Fridays,
and hid the word create inside us even though
he died, leaving us with questions
like how?

“I’m smiling,” the small boy says,
“because I knew the answer even then.”