Two Sisters

Sisters 1928

Sunday, late morning in early summer.
The aftermath of church service, toast, bacon and eggs.
Two sisters on a sofa.
One reading, the other daydreaming.
A flash…click…
Their brother’s new hobby. A Kodak camera.
It snatches images to be developed later.
Moments are captured, frozen, preserved.
One sister is reading a volume of instruction in the art of womanhood.
The other sister daydreams, staring into the future, imagining women as doctors, lawyers, policemen. Perhaps Prime Minister.
The Great Depression lay like lava
still below ground.
An economic volcano that would roll over the land like smoke;
a cloud cloaking the world in ash.
Adults whispered and were overheard.
Whispers rooted in the sisters’ minds, inspiring a thriftiness that future generations would come
to either inherit or mock.
The photograph has been recreated on canvas with acrylic, years after it was pressed between
cellophane sheets in a family album.
The new rendering is softened from black and white with strains of blue.
The steel gaze of the daydreaming sister is a dart that pokes through a century.
The reading sister’s Zen-like perusal of the page appears as a precursor to a nap.
Much of life seems to be waiting to see what becomes of all our waiting.
The sisters were awaiting… Perhaps a Sunday drive or a trip to the zoo.
They are affixed in a moment now that transcends their mortality.
During their lives they would witness the second version of “the war to end all wars” and the landing of a man on the moon.
They were gone to ash before a black man became the President of the United States.
They were gone to dust long before their image was hung upon an art gallery wall.