Willow, at http://magpietales.blogspot.com/
hosts a weekly writing prompt
using the below photo
write a poem or small vignette
She heard the car coming up the gravel driveway and watched as a slim chestnut haired young woman existed the car and walked toward her.
"I'd like to know if I can photograph your farmstead, particularly the out buildings. Buildings like these are disappearing from the American landscape and I want to preserve their images."
Mabel Price just stared at the young woman, remembering when she had such ambitions. In that brief pause she thought about her life choices, marrying Karl and living the life of a farm wife, an isolated life with the man she loved.
"What' your name?" is all she managed to ask this wisp of girl in front of her.
"Oh, I'm sorry. I'm Claire,Claire Dunn."
If she had said anything else Mabel hadn't heard, but rather she took in the sight of the young woman's large hooped earrings and the silver bell she wore around her neck on a long silver chain, the fitted tank top with a strange symbol on the front and the rather masculine Harley Davidson black, lace up, leather boots on her feet.
"I promise I won't be long...just a few shots. May I?'
Mabel gave her permission and watched as Claire began shooting photographs of her farm. She watched her climb onto things twisting her body to get just the right shot of something that had caught her eye.
Mabel felt something akin to excitement rise in her, something long abandoned. She watched as Claire stopped by an old ruin of a building, the only things remaining of it were a brick wall and the old pipes that once connected to a sink. She watched as the young woman with great ease squatted on the ground and began shooting pictures of the pipes, then watched as she put down her camera and just stared at them.
"Yeah, it's a sight those old pipes," said Mabel,"been meaning to do something about that old building, but out here folks don't bother with things that fall down or wear out. They just leave 'em. It took me a long time to learn to live with all that. I don't even see it anymore."
Claire stood up and looked Mabel straight in the eye and said, "I'm glad it was here. I saw the desert."
"What?" asked Mabel.
"See here," Claire said placing her fingers on the pipes,"See the turquoise and rust, it's the colors of the desert."
Mabel might be old and have lived alone for decades, but she knew longing when she saw it.
"Well, Claire, what is it about the desert that interests you so much that you would contort yourself to get a picture of some old pipes on some old lady's farm?'"
"It's my boyfriend, he's moved to Santa Fe. He wants me to move there."
"Well?" asked Mabel.
"I don't want to live in Santa Fe, all my family is here in Illinois and Iowa."
"Do you love him?"
"Do you see yourself marrying him?"
"I thought so,but then he moved. He said that is his dream as an artist, to live there."
Mabel looked into the fields just beyond and remembered when she almost let Karl slip away because she had wanted to be a newspaper reporter in the big city.
"Now I'm just an old lady, but if you want my 2 cents, I say go...go to Santa Fe...and take your camera. There must be old buildings needin preservin there. If you saw the desert in some old rusty pipes, I say it is a sign."
Claire hugged Mabel and began laughing with tears, "You're right."
Mabel walked Claire back to her car, and yielded to Claire's request for a photo of her.
Mabel wondered if the photo captured the longing in her eyes.