Jump-start your writing: A photo in the newspaper

Jump-start your writing: A photo in the newspaper

Rory C. Keel

The Local newspaper carried a story of the tragic work accident that resulted in the death of a young man. After reading the story, I decided to write about the photograph of the young man that was published. My hope is that you can see the picture through my words.

A picture is simply a snapshot of a brief moment in time. I get the feeling that at the very second the shutter of the camera snapped, this young man was happy.

A red and white striped shirt drew my attention to the center of the photo. A tall slender man stood with his arms folded covered with the long sleeves of a white undershirt. His head is tilted and resting on a wall above his right shoulder. He wore a slight grin on his face that exposed the shallow dimples in his cheeks as he stared back through the lens at the photographer.

The room he looks into is a kitchen, confirmed by the cast iron skillet and dishtowels that hang by a hook on the wall. Further evidence is the foil-covered dish and meringue pie near the end of the counter where he stood.

Behind his head, in another room hung a frame containing a picture. While out of focus, the outline of people reveals that it is a family photo. Beside the family picture hangs a smaller portrait of a young couple and below on a small table sits a picture of small boy with his arms crossed and covered by long white sleeve of an undershirt beneath a dark blue polo.

I wonder how many years have passed between the photo of the small boy and the young man he became?

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