Photo Story: 1974

A nearly black and white photo of barren ground and a homemade gravestone reading: "Mittens 1956–1974"We didn’t talk that summer. My father drowned out the silence with the news: Nixon, war, the World Series. My mother filled the void with the sounds of Duke Ellington and Billie Holiday on the Victrola. My parents moved around me like repelling magnets.

At the peak of a heat wave in July, they broke the silence with her mouth and his fist. Mittens got under his feet and he kicked her. Blood splattered the wall.

The Dodgers lost the World Series.

I filled my silence with episodes of Happy Days and lying in the grass, imagining I was Richie.


Riley Ann is a writer of prose, poetry, and songs. She plays in the blues rock band The Catcalls and teaches middle school English. For more, see or follow her on Instagram and Facebookat @rileyannsound

Photographer: moominsean

2 Responses to “Photo Story: 1974”

  1. That’s a tough one. Well done.

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