A Photograph by Shirley Toulson
A wonderful ppt explaining all important details.
The cardboard; here it refers to the photo frame; showed the speaker how life was when the two cousin sisters went paddling; to propel or travel in a canoe or the like by using a paddle: to row lightly or gently with oars: to move by means of paddle wheels, as a steamer: to propel with a paddle: to spank or beat with or as with a paddle: to stir, mix, or beat with or as with a paddle: to convey by paddling, as a canoe: here it means walked barefoot in shallow water; with each one of them holding the speaker’s mother’s hands. The bigger girl of the cousin sisters must be about twelve years old. All three of them stood still shoulder to shoulder to smile through their long hair at the camera whose picture was taken by the uncle holding it. The mother had a sweet and pleasant smile before her child was born into this world. The sea in which they were paddling; which seemed to not have been changed; washed their terribly transient; not lasting, enduring, or permanent; transitory: lasting only a short time; existing briefly; temporary: staying only a short time: here it means short lived; wet feet.
After twenty to thirty years later, the mother took out the photograph and laughed at the snapshot. The two cousin sisters were Betty and Dolly. She found it so hilarious at the manner that they dressed up for the beach. The sea holiday was her past for the mother while it was laughter for the speaker. Both mother and daughter wry; produced by a distortion or lopsidedness of the facial features: abnormally bent or turned to one side; twisted; crooked: devious in course or purpose; misdirected; contrary; perverse: distorted or perverted, as in meaning: bitterly or disdainfully ironic or amusing; at the labored ease of loss. But now the mother has been dead for the past few years just as one of those cousin sisters’ lives. Out of all these circumstances, there is nothing else left to say. The matter is closed and silence has sealed its fate.