I Look at the Photograph and Think

Category: Writing

It’s only three and the prompt asked for five, but it’ll have to do. I’m starving and out of inspiration.

"Photo of five people sittin on horses, wearing the same t-shirt and waving cowboy hats."

I look at the photograph and think of the year my little brother was fumbling around for Christmas presents without any luck. On Christmas eve he walked to the mall and bought us all exactly the same t-shirt. That’s him by the way, sitting on the paint with Dad. He gave himself a t-shirt too. He said he thought they must have come from Santa and that’s why he got one - but I think he wanted to be like us, and for once, for us to be like him. The t-shirt was white and written on the front it said “Danny Boy” in big red letters, decorated with illustrated organ pipes and underneath it said “The pipes are calling”. On the back it reads “Organ Donation Helps” - second line (very small type) Smokers Supporting Victims of Lung Cancer”.

"Photo of a woman wearing a white dress and shawl as she removes some cloth from a tree"

I look at the photograph and think back to last Thursday when Anna came walking like a queen into the middle of town with a baby in her arms. She told everyone who would stand still for more than a half a second, and the surprising sight of Anna Johns with a baby was a good reason to stand and stare, how she found it swinging peacefully in a leafless tree down near the creek. She told how at first she couldn’t believe her eyes - then as she neared the little hammock made of pink cotton and embroidered with roses and strawberries she heard a baby mewling and she knew, she just knew that God had given her a gift and a responsibility that she must take on. The people, my neighbors, nodded, and stroked the baby’s face, and some said “Halleluja”. I work at the general store and when I look at the photograph I remember too how I sold Anna an awful lot of embroidery thread just before the holidays. It was red and pink and shades of green.

"Photo of bare feet with a dandilion stuck between the toes."

I look at the photograph and think that yellow and green must be the most beautiful colors in the world - when you are in love. I look over my feet at the water and think that deepest black and sparkling silver are necessary conditions for yellow and green to be the most beautiful colors in the world. More necessary than being in love. I drop my head back and marvel at the summer blue sky and the white clouds and I know that without them, deepest black would look shallower, and silver less sparkly. And then, no matter how perfect the girl, how inviting her lips, or how new the crush, yellow and green would have to struggle for any status at all.