Wednesday, May 28, 2008

in a frame

When the photograph was taken, my mother was seated on a chair in my brother's living room. It was by the window and it was, I guess, at dusk. The chair seemed huge for her frame and her body gave the impression that she was perched rather than seated on it. She was wearing a dress that looked drab and dull despite its being of many colors. Her hair was tied back in her signature ponytail. She never had it colored, and it displayed grays of different shades. Occasionally, she would have it curled, especially during her younger years when she had the strength to visit the salon.

Her hands were resting one on top of the other on her lap. They were hard, rough, calloused hands. Her fingers were pale and her wedding ring shone in contrast on her left hand. She had wanted to lose thating ring, applying soap and petroleum jelly combined with purposeful tugging and pulling. It remained on her finger, not for lack of trying on her part, but because she was arthritic and the ring wouldn't go past her knuckle. It seemed such a heavy burden, that little gold band, and I pitied her forhaving to bear it. The ring probably didn't even weigh an ounce but, because of it, she plodded slowly along, as if oppressed or handicapped.

In the photograph, she was seated with her back straight as a rod, causing her slight paunch to push against her dress. Her pose was rigid rather than relaxed, betraying the pride and dignity that her bearing implied. With that posture, she must have looked so poised, even regal, in her youth.

The picture was in a frame of simple brown--- or was it bronze? Or was it the coffin, on which the framed picture rested, that was bronze?

There was my mother, in the photograph, frozen in time.

1 comment:

Pink Ink said...

I love this description of your Mom! There's so much here in a few sentences.