I Saw Your Picture Today

Marilyn Buck

[This poem is read by Elana Levy MP3 of this poem]

For Lori Berenson, Internationalist Political Prisoner

Dear Lori,
I saw your photo in the newspaper
You, hair flying, posed
between sun-glassed security agents,
bodies rigid in double breasted suits
cruelty pressed upon their lip-sticked mouths.
You are labeled the terrorist.

I’ve seen many photos like that
shot from below
looking up the nose
nostrils flared
snapped when the lower jaw is dropped
and the teeth are bared.
Even Miss America
would look fiendish
shot from below.

Photography is an art
conception or deception
a photo is one one-hundredth-and-twenty-fifth second
of the subject’s existence.
Reality framed.

Your courage
can not be captured
by the click of a shutter.

February 1996
and Syracuse Peace Letters

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