Originally presented as part of GRAMMAS CAMERAS II (2013), an exhibition of photography and writings.
This little box I hold in my hand
Is my Grandmother's camera.
The paper is peeling and the knobs are a bit rusty.
I’m not sure if it still works.
This is my Grandmother's camera.
It was hidden away in the attic.
I’m not sure if it still works,
It’s more than 60 years old.
It was hidden away in the attic
until my grandpa gave it to me.
"It's more than 60 years old,"
When my grandpa gave it to me,
He told me a story.
"She was the girl with the camera."
He told me stories of her
When she was young.
She was just a girl with a camera,
Capturing her world
When my grandmother was young,
she carried her box camera wherever she went,
capturing her world
one frame at a time.
She carried her box camera wherever she went
until it was forgotten
one frame at a time
After she took her last photograph.
It was forgotten
After my dad was born, shortly before Grandpa went to war,
after my grandmother took her last photograph
of a proud little boy, looking up at his dad.
When her first son was born, when her husband went to war
Her life as a wife and mother began,
She cared for a proud little boy, waiting for his dad to return.
More important things were on her mind than her little camera.
My grandmother’s duties as wife and mother would last decades.
Seven children and a dozen grandchildren later,
There was no time to worry about her little camera.
It was forgotten by the one who cherished it most.
Seven children, and many grandchildren later,
No one bothered with that little box camera,
It was never again used by the one who cherished it most,
being pushed further and further back into the attic.
None of us bothered with the little box camera
Until my grandpa found a bag of old things
pushed to the far back of the attic.
He remembered the stories and the photographs.
My grandpa found a bag of my grandmother’s things,
and this camera, something she loved so much.
He told me the stories, and pulled out the photographs,
This is part of our family history.
This is the camera my grandmother loved so much.
Now, the paper is peeling and the knobs are a bit rusty,
But, it’s part of my history,
This little box I hold in my hand.