I find the following poem by Gary Snyder incredibly beautiful. I think that the stasis of it, a frozen past moment captured in the photo, is part of that, as is the rhetorical question in the first line. In haiku writing there's a term 'wabi sabi' which means, as far as I can be sure, a combination of beauty and loss. Memories often have that quality.
Looking at Pictures to Be Put Away
Who was this girl
In her white night gown
Clutching a pair of jeans
On a foggy redwood deck.
She looks up at me tender,
What will we remember
Bodied thick with food and lovers
After twenty years.
from The Back Country
© New Directions, 1957
I wrote a poem for my grand-daughter called 'What we remember' parallelling my childhood memories with what I imagined hers might be:
What We Remember
How Dadcu wore his belt buckled at the back, pulled
so tight around his skinny waist the tops of his trousers
fluted like piecrust; how he swallowed raw eggs, breaking
the yolk in the chamber of his throat; how the fire roared
behind yesterday’s paper stretched across its mouth
and Granny melted cheese in dishes on the grate,
kept an open tin of condensed milk for tea. The lumpy
featherbed, the musty wardrobe, a chocolate coloured fur coat.
And what will she remember? Her granddad throwing her
in the air, the fat china woman on the edge of my bath,
the window at floor level in her bedroom looking down
on red tiled roofs, sheep in long grass, the apple orchard?
Or the day we smeared our faces with burnt cork
and she said You are my best friend. But no,
that is what I’ll remember, and how she asked
Why do you make that funny face when you look in the mirror?
Perhaps these two poems will help inspire a poem of your own about one or several past memories.
Free write in the first instance from the phrase - What will we remember... then, when and if you feel you're ready to start shaping your words into a poem, think about form.
Short lines or long lines?
One block, or couplets, or tercets or quatrains?
Experiment with different shapes and try and identify the form that suits what you're saying, the emotional tone of the poem. And, if you'd like to, when you post your poem, add a few notes about why you've chosen that particular form.