Shutter / Shudder

With the light through the lens
The agony glutted his veins
Stalked by a vulture
He was all but a pile of a boy

The agony glutted his veins
The atomic bomb waiting in his palms
He was all but a pile of a boy
Crumbled under a weeping tree

The atomic bomb waiting in his palms
As the brutality pulled threads from his sanity
Crumbled under a weeping tree
He was set to unravel

As the brutality pulled threads from his sanity
He felt the wrath like growling whips across his chapped back
He was set to unravel
He was the boy

He felt the wrath like growling whips across his chapped back
His work became him
He was the boy
Stifled by the exposure he couldn’t rescind

His work became him
And he became his work
Stifled by the exposure he couldn’t rescind
A thrall to his pulsing mind

And he became his work
Stumbling in the blackness
A thrall to his pulsing mind
In a moment it would be over

Stumbling in the blackness
Stalked by a vulture
In a moment it would be over
With the light through the lens.

I was moved to write this poem after I read about the tragic suicide of a South African photojournalist, Kevin Carter. He was an inspiringly bold and daring activist who photographed events that no one had dared to before him. Through his emotion-evoking images he exposed acts of violence and instances of horrific tragedy to the world. This poem explores the pain he suffered from constantly bearing the burden of his difficult work.

Elinor Hills, Age 16, Grade 11, Brooklyn Friends School, Silver Key

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