Friday, March 18, 2016

The Heart of a Photographer

A child's Christmas arrives.
Heart quickens as torn wrappings
reveal a Kodak Instamatic
with a box of flash cubes
and a roll of film.
The first dozen shots
snapped in rapid succession.
Film dropped into an envelope;
the mail order lab
entrusted with her
prized prints.

Waiting begins.
Sitting on the rock wall
across from the
big, black mail box
on route 56.
Straining her eyes
for the first glimpse
of the mail truck.
The agony of waiting.
Black and white
because meager
allowances don't allow
like Kodachrome.
The heart of a photographer
beat inside the young girl's chest.

Another Christmas 
season comes to pass;
a real camera,
the Canon SLR
opens up the possibilities.
Still film, but color
this time.

Wandering aisles
waiting for
one-hour photo labs
to deliver on their promise.
Whole rolls of film
reveal only the slightest hints of
budding talent.
The heart of a photographer
yearning for perfection.

Babies come;
creativity takes a backseat
to documenting firsts:
first smiles, 
first steps, 
first days.

Digital allows
many more shots,
many more mistakes,
quickly forgiven 
and forgotten
with the ease of deletion.

The heart of the photographer
filled to overflowing as
scrapbooks filled
with photos and mementos
of her children.

Retirement arrives.
There is time once again
to compose the shot,
consider the light,
and critique the results.

Black and white
captures mood;
creates clarity and contrast.
Occasional bursts of genius
encourage the heart
to follow its beating rhythm.

Love is found.
There are nearly always
two cameras now.

The heart of this photographer
joins the heart of another.
Their pictures tell the story
of two hearts
beating as one.

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