You find yourself in your junior high milk room-turned-dark room on a Saturday morning being taught to process film by your 8th grade science teacher. (His suggestion.)

You are crying because the prior afternoon your dad cuffed you so hard that the space before your eyes became a black-and-white checkerboard of spots. You willed yourself not to faint, kept your head up, eyes forward, and walked to your room, where you closed the door and laid down until morning.

You are enveloped in the pungent odor of metallic solution emanating from a silver tray. You are, instead of comforted, given your first French kiss by this balding man. His hands slide beneath your lavender tee as his wife and two eldest children come into focus in the developing fluid. Apparitions entering into black and white, the Mrs., so young then, sits on a park bench, toddler at one knee, baby clasped in a white blanket in her arms, and smiles into the lens, into her future.

Janine Harrison

Janine Harrison wrote the memoir/guidebook, Turning 50 on El Camino de Santiago: A Solo Woman’s Travel Adventure(Rivette Press, 2021), poetry collection, Weight of Silence (Wordpool Press, 2019), and chapbook, If We Were Birds(Locofo Chaps, 2017). Her work has appeared in Haiku for Hikers, Veils, Halos, and Shackles: International Poetry on the Oppression and Empowerment of Women, Not Like the Rest of Us: An Anthology of Contemporary Indiana Writers, A&U, Gyroscope Review, and other publications. She teaches creative writing at Calumet College of St. Joseph and serves as a Highland Arts Council member. Formerly, Janine was a Highland Poet Laureate, an Indiana Writers’ Consortium leader, and a poetry reviewer for The Florida Review.

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