Posted by on January 8, 2017

Family Album

Written by Ada Rocca

Photography by Robert Shaffer

October 22, 2016

I.

A fortnight and a few wild instants ago she sat all pale and blonde in the floral chintz chair painting her bitten nails in rouge. There was a phone call, a tremulous voice, and the sound of rain. She ironed and mended his shirt, laced up her brogues and then, eyes closed, stepped out into the storm. She left her heavily parturient body behind, a pain – so utter, and then, all fatigued, just strolled down the alley until the end of the edgeless world. He had said “Please, don’t”. But she still did. Her mom also did before.  And then the girl child will also do.


II.

And there she lay, wordless and tearful, with a useless pair of broken legs, and a void body, not her own, arms trembling, too skinny to hold the child, the midwife had said. Medical voices vibrated clear-minded around her ailing self. She will never fit in her christening gown again, still a child, though, black raisins hollow on that day, she will have to learn reason and common sense. And that was what he meant.


III.

And then one of those redundant days the stormy wind will break in, all filled with thunders and erratic flashlights. It will all smell of lachrymae, and silent lakes. The austere camera will capture her visage, moist eyes, and the gracious girl child by her side. The photographer will say “Smile, please!” Mother and daughter will wear their most solitary smiles and two pairs of joined hands. He will have an ostentatious moustache, and a beret, just like a French lieutenant. There will be no bayonet, no medals, no bravery, just a two-story square house, red Geraniums on the windowsills, a porch and a backyard, where the girl child will be swinging away, far from the maddening crowd.

Family Album by Ada Rocca & Robert Shaffer

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