The heavy wooden tripod braced
against the stiff east wind
which danced across the rock strewn tundra
as wisps and whirlwinds of powder-
with a sound that is only found on larger bodies of water.
Huddled together under the dark cloth
jointly staring at the upside down
and reversed image on the ground glass
they fumbled with mittens.
A light meter reading put the highlights
on Zone VII.
Set aperature and shutter speed
followed by focusing with a loupe-
each sharing responsibility
and agreement for the image to be
with a single nod.
She summarily pulled the dark slide and I hit
the plunger on the cable release.
1/2 second of a stolen moment.
In the beginning, the world was ours.
My father was still alive and just a few miles north.
The dog and I still walk beaches in the winter
for him to rejoice in temporary freedom from the leash
and for I to remember all that has past.
"All photographs are there to remind us of what we forget. In this — as in other ways — they are the opposite of paintings. Paintings record what the painter remembers. Because each one of us forgets different things, a photo more than a painting may change its meaning according to who is looking at it." ~John Berger