Thursday, October 05, 2006

that afternoon

School shoes had leather soles and leather heels back then that clattered on the pavers as we ran from school toward the river and the quayside where we could spit and throw stones and smoke fags nicked from our fathers' jacket pockets and practice cursing and talking about the girls. The only other shoes we owned were our football boots and those were for the other afternoons when we would stick with childhood up on the hill.

Then the barbed wire came. And the Paras. And the barricades. And practice was over.

copyright 2006 by Ira Socol
photograph from the Eamon Melaugh archive at CAIN - copyright the photographer


Brenda said...

You are letting the image carry the weight of everything, and that is scary in that it's a precarious balancing and unimaginably exhilirating for me as a reader...

The image of shoes, out of which the entire emotional tenor of childhood arises.

Fabulously done.

MB said...

I like the simplicity of this ending. Like a child's view is simple. Not without depth simple. Incredible photo with that one face looking back at the camera, back at the narrator.

narrator said...

brenda and mb -

thank you. It is always so much harder to write less - to stay simpler, at least for me, that I struggled with this a great deal.

The picture archive linked is incredible. It documents a lost world, and much - obviously - that has been lost makes things better, but there were wonders there...

Adriana Bliss said...

Just beautiful - how funny to read this coming off of Patrick's piece on shoes...a provocative contrast.