On Poetry, Prose, and Videogames

JLawrence Kenny

60-Year Old Picture

on August 10, 2011

A drabble on how the past affects us.

Clouds of dust flew into the air as the man’s heavy boots disturbed the scarcely tread floor of the attic. He shifted aside a shoebox filled with baseball card from his path as he looked for the old Christmas ornament that had somehow vanished. “Where the hell could they have gone?” he grumbled, opening another cardboard box. No ornaments again.

PictureThe man began to close the box, aiming to move forward, but the glint of glass caught his eye. Hesitantly, he reached in, grabbing a small object from the box, and then blew off of it the dust of many decades. What he’d revealed was an ancient photograph, a portrait of a smiling woman wearing clothes of a bygone era. Her eyes glinted merrily as she laughed forever, frozen in time. The man stared at the picture, feeling a sense of familiarity, but unable to place the woman. After a moment, he recognized with a start that the eyes staring back at him belonged to his grandmother.

She was younger in the picture than she had ever been during the time that he remembered her, and his eyes filled with tears as he recalled the times that the two of them had spent together in the past. Happy days, spent together on the beach, at amusement parks, reading together by the light of a dim lamp. Sad days, as illness slowly but surely took her away from him, first mentally, and then physically. The sight of her still alive and well was almost too much for him to handle. Christmas ornaments forgotten momentarily, the man wiped the tears from his eyes and descended the steps from the attic, intent to find a place to hang the sentimental picture.


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