A Yard Apart

Image by Michael Gaida

The photograph of a young refugee in a magazine

Just a moment together

For the photo.

They are a yard, perhaps two, apart,

The photographer and her.

Face to face,

They collaborate in the action

That takes 1/125th of a second,

A click of a shutter sharing

Time and place.

Her fine eyes look at the lens

But ignorant of her beauty

She wonders why

She is singled out for such attention.

Then each returns,

Pulled back by their origins and obligations

To their different daily lives,

A world apart.

Do not say,

‘She’ll be OK,

Her photo was taken,

She is known,

She will be helped,

She will be fine.’

For she wandered back into the bush,

The unimportant part of the world.

He packed up his camera,

With the shot inside

That would make his name.

And she was not seen again

By the lens.

Perhaps she was happy,

But we do not know.