Lisa Lopez-Smith

film reel

Mom gifts me a copy of the disc,
newly digitalized, and casually
I slip it into the laptop.
We laugh,  each reel spliced together awkwardly,
a precious three hundred sixty seconds—
fragments of a kindly childhood
I had mostly forgotten
or tried to—
The handheld mic catches
every sideways breeze and
constant clack of the flapping filmstrip:

infant eddie almost rolls over and mom is smiling and
/scene change/ we play on the swings and /scene change/
my grandmother flicks a cigarette ash
on the porch of the old kitsilano house with those vintage vinyl chairs and
my uncles were all still slim in fitted polyester trousers and
/scene change/ i dig in the sand at the beach
the ducks are swimming and /scene change/
relatives i don’t know from the old country wave at the camera and
/scene change/ i toddle around the playground equipment
with no modern safety nets  for those unexpected falls

and you ask me
What are you doing Lisa?

I hadn’t heard your voice  in twenty-five years.

and three year old me grins at the camera and says
i’m looking at you


Lisa López Smith would do almost anything for a really good chocolate chip cookie. Originally from Canada, she currently makes her home in central Mexico, but has also lived in Italy, Ireland, Uganda, the USA, China, and Brazil. Her work is published or forthcoming in Lacuna MagazineColdnoonMothers Always WriteCuiZine: Journal of Canadian Food CulturesThe Dream is Now, and in various anthologies including Travellin’ Mama (Demeter Press, 2018). She is a fellow of Under the Volcano Writers Workshop in Tepoztlán, Mexico and Macondo Writers Workshop.

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