Kevin Carter | Teen Ink

Kevin Carter

January 29, 2018
By justr SILVER, SLC, Utah
justr SILVER, SLC, Utah
6 articles 0 photos 0 comments

"...every nation...old allies...sister republics...
freedom...the world...the mortal hand...
huts and villages..."

Oh, World, you're just too much for me.
I cannot bear the thought of it--
Of the other earth--it crumbles,
Things fall apart and I know
I'm a part of the reason.
I cannot bear the weight 
Of paper, of a flimsy photograph,
Until tied to a chair, interrogated,
Torn apart, beaten and crumbled,
To reveal the shocked eyes which held it,
To crumble, beat, and tear apart also.

Oh, Kevin Carter, I was just too much for you,
Or were those eyes too much for me?
Brave and daring, yet
Sullen and sinking, hiding behind a disintegrating lens,
Globular and frozen, ripe with fear and agony,
Juicy with saltwater: tears and regret.
I was hungry, craving correctness,
And those kinds of eyes are not mine.

Oh, Child, there was nothing too much for you.
There was just never enough.
Chained to the ground, motionless, face fallen in the dirt,
Dried, starved and helpless,
Unknowing and lost.
Are you a picture, a floating paper,
A voice?
Or are you an innocent child--mouth, stomach, and all--
A living, breathing,
Dying soul?
Child, being, human, Kong Nyong,
When you crawled on that ground
Did he help you?
Does this concern grant you
A voice,
Or does it deter from the purpose of Kevin Carter's eyes?
Does it protect your name, dignity, and life,
Or does it subordinate your worth, deeming you
"the huts and villages"?

"...every nation...old allies...sister republics...
freedom...the world...the mortal hand..."

Oh, JFK, this classification was just too much for me,
Or perhaps it was not enough,
For what am I--what are we--but the empty vulture?

The author's comments:

Through a famous picture: a contemplation of the moral dilemmas of watching what occurs in other parts of the world. The fates of both Carter, who received much backlash for his photo, and what he depicted, were tragic.

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