Thursday, February 10, 2011

The Photograph

There she stood, arm in arm with her mother and sister. A warm breeze blew at their skirts, causing them to gently brush against their knees. It was Spring, a time of renewal. Buds were on the trees and the grass was turning muddy. She felt filled with the energy of rebirth. Feeling strengthened by her surroundings, she stared into the stern face before her.

He stared back. His scalp felt prickly from the sweat caught between it and the weight of the helmet. His legs were sore from holding his body rigid hour after hour. The only good thing about the assignment was the young girl in front of him. She was beautiful. In any other situation, he would have approached her and asked for a dance. Instead, he stood with the barrel of his gun pointing at the ground and his face impassive.

That was what the photographer saw. Both ease and anxiety, strength and discomfort, lines that blurred together in a fight that made no sense. The photograph told the story in the space of a 5x7 frame in the New York Times.

*** Daily Writing Practice ***

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