The Darkroom, a poem by Candace B. Johansen at Spillwords.com

The Darkroom

The Darkroom

written by: Candace B. Johansen

@eldarcj

 

He had a darkroom.
Hidden away in a tiny
unused closet in our house.
I was allowed in
only once,
when I was deemed old enough
to not bother him,
or the chemicals
that he used to make his Magic.
I stood rapt,
barely breathing.
Afraid that even the slightest movement,
the slightest breath,
would somehow disrupt the process,
injure the photograph
that was slowly coming to life
before my eyes.
I knew in that instant
that I needed to make that Magic.
I needed to bring those hidden pictures
to life.
I got my first camera at seven,
with the admonishment that it was not A Toy.
A Toy.
As if I could, would, ever deign
to treat it like
A Toy.

I never used a darkroom.
And I know my life is all the worse
for that omission.
Rolls upon rolls upon rolls of film,
of photos I had taken throughout
the years,
from camera after camera that I bought
as I sought the newest and the best,
were sent away to be developed.
And in return,
I received the Magic in an envelope
filled with photos developed
on an assembly line
miles away
and those tiny negatives that gave me a glimpse
of the Darkroom Magic
that might have been.
Film cameras gave way to digital cameras
and I photographed
Landscapes.
Weddings.
Families.
Children.
And through the wonders of technology,
I was finally able to
make my own Magic.
Add my own beauty.
Do more with my photography than my father
was ever able to do with his.

I know that,
if he could have seen the Magic,
MY Magic,
he would have been amazed.
And yet,
with all that technological ‘Magic’
at my fingertips,
I would give anything
to have a darkroom
tucked into a small, unused closet
in my house.

Candace B. Johansen

Candace B. Johansen

Candace is a sixty-seven-year-old retired educator, Zumba Instructor, photographer, and grandmother who lives (geographically) in the armpit of Cape Cod. She loves walking her greyhound Magick down to the river every morning. She has been writing poetry and YA fantasy novels for many years and is hoping to publish her first book, soon.
Candace B. Johansen

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