Family Photos

I walk around this place
And pictures stare back at me from cream colored walls
Black and white, people wearing clothes long faded and worn
Cars and guns that have rusted their way back to heaven
A family in motion, caught in moments and frozen on Kodak paper
Braids and bows in my long deceased aunt’s hair
My grandmother’s hands feeding the precious fabric through the teeth of her beloved singer sewing machine, her feet pumping the pedals on the floors
I see adventures and joy
Reminders of the imprint they left
Some I never knew and some a vague memory, a dream almost of times that went by in a flash
A child’s memory of giants with big hands holding me up to throw my fishing line in the rushing creek cascading out of the Eastern Sierra Nevada’s.
The ravages of war shown in every generation.
Letters home from battle fields deep in the hell, sending love and yearning for one another.
Fear for the families left behind, crops failing and no oxen to pull the plow and no chance to lay down the rifle and head home to hold the ones you love.
A family on both sides of the war, dark grey and dark blue uniforms are all the same in black and white memories.
A sailor dressed in white, jaw set tight, a brother in his army best, standing side by side, unspoken fear for one another showing in each other’s eyes. Only one survived intact.
These are photos of my family.
Eyes staring into lenses and lives caught for a moment and I can almost hear the songs they might have been singing.
A harmonica on a late summer night, on a badly lit farm in the south to chasing butterflies in the wide open fields of the great Central valley. Fruit growing sweet and strong, grown with love by my grandpa’s hand.
We are still here. In all our eyes, small lights of the past dance now and then and show up in digital light, reflections of the black and white lives, the photos hiding the color of the days from us but not the sense of who we really are.
I walk around this place and I can almost hear the photos on the walls, whispering to me, reminding me….Brenda Cowan




About leeskid (Brenda Cowan)

Breathing, writing, listening
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