Tuesday, March 21, 2017

The Man with a Box ~ #sol17

I believe being a writer is one of the biggest gifts you can give to your students. ~ Stacey Shubitz

This month I am participating in the Slice of Life Story Challenge.  Thanks to Two Writing Teachers for creating a space for me to share my corner of the world.

I recently came across an online photo gallery from Paul Willis, a photographer who worked in my hometown many years ago.  One gallery was labeled 1978, where I found this picture.  

I was captivated by this gentleman and his box.  I wanted to know the story, his story.

I emailed the photographer and asked him if he remembered anything about the photo.  Unfortunately, he did not.  He told me that it was early in his career, and he would drive around the county taking photos of "everything I saw."  Many times photos such as these were never published in the paper to avoid embarrassing someone.  

I have no name and no story, so I decided to create one through a conversation in verse 

between a little boy

and the man with a box.

Photo by Paul Willis

Good morning, sir
how are you today
weather sure is chilly
isn't it

I'm curious about your box, sir
looks like a special box
a box where I would keep 
my important stuff

May I have a look, sir


Is that important, sir

One day, son

a long time ago,
I learned what it was like 
to live without

One day, son

you'll understand 
that what's important in life
doesn't fit in a box

but fits perfectly

in your heart

Yes, sir

© 2017 Leigh Anne Eck


  1. I love this story to go with that amazing image!

    Your blog is linked to day to mine for the “Found Poem” Scavenger Hunt! I've used a line from your Poetry Friday page!
    Happy World Poetry Day!

  2. Beautifully done, and I admire you for trying to find out more! It is a photo that asks questions, isn't it? When we start looking, we find amazing things!

  3. Well done! As I read this I hoped you would write his story. Wouldn't that be an interesting thing to try with your students?

  4. Love the way you developed the poem to go with the picture. This man has seen a lot in his days. His final line is a message we need to hang onto.

  5. "Fits perfectly in your heart." YES!

  6. Really lovely idea of creating a story from a found photograph!

  7. Lovely, Leigh Anne! The photo is quite intriguing, and the poem ends with a spectacular sentiment.

  8. I love this, Leigh Anne. Retro calls to me and the poem is beautifully written - so creative!

  9. This, this is absolutely beautiful! If a picture could talk what would it say? The photograph may have thought this picture had no words but no picture is without words. You've given this photo an entire new life. Again, beautiful!

  10. Oh Leigh Anne, I so enjoyed this post.
    How you found it.
    What you learned from the photographer.
    ...And what beautiful writing!