A barefoot girl dragged lazy circles on the bald ground just beneath her tire swing. It’d been a scorcher but finally the sun was slipping behind pine and oak and sassafras. Tuckered-out bluebonnets growing near the porch swayed oh so slightly, urged by a hint of breeze. It was growing tolerable. At last, the girl’s favorite time of day - time to revel in gentle flight, a languid ride on her beloved 1965 Firestone steel-belted retread. Her great grandfather had found a length of retired schooner rope and tied the worn out radial to a sycamore limb decades before she was born. GreatPop was long since gone, but through the years the swing weathered every assault nature could devise. A survivor. And - for the girl - her birthright. So organic this relic, indelible memories of its every feature would be seared into her mind. The memories would comfort her in unfriendly days that would inevitably follow into womanhood.

    But for now, on this waning August day, like so many before, the faithful swing whisked her up and away. Life was just fine. She hummed along with the crickets and cicadas. 

   There was a scrapbook of photographs on her lap and she turned the pages as she swung beneath the ancient tree. And turned and swung. And swung and turned time and again. Tufts of long chestnut hair chased franticly until they caught up to splash softly across her face. With a practiced poof of breath she blew the hair away, never missing a beat.

    And she loved the photographs. They filled her heart.  She held on tight.

    A screen door creaked open and a red-faced woman in a gingham dress appeared, one foot on the porch, the other propping the door. Roast chicken wafted from the kitchen. Never looking up, the woman concentrated more on stirring corn batter in a chipped porcelain bowl.

“Honey, you got my pictures?”

“Please, Momma. Can I look at ‘em some more?”

Momma stirred the sticky batter a time or two then went back inside.

The Photographs of Curt May
You’ll want to look at them some morePhotos.html

curt may © 2011