The Child and the Vulture (Pulitzer Prize winning Photo)

Child and vulture

The skull bones of a child,
Soon to see a headstone, or perhaps not.

The twilight filled with vultures, callous
Eyes like lighthouses, shining a beam

And a little girl child, that sparked
A photograph. How hopeless

Gods are sometimes, even a prayer
Gets lost in the open spaces,

Between the point of despair and heaven.
A precariousness of childhood,

The African child, in a prized photo entry,
Her arms together, while unsuspecting to her,

The vulture looms. The greed
Of the vulture, just as transparent

As the burning hunger of a child.
A visual of prey and scavenger,

In one line of contact, the famished
Eyes of the vulture, the bald head,

And a throat that feeds rotting carcasses,
Looming large, and a child,

Who doesn’t have eyes on her back,
Going on with her usual business.

A toddler, a little girl, at the mercy
Of a defiant vulture. A lone photographer,

Slowly waiting for the vulture
To lift his long wingspan, to catch

A glimpse of two worlds,
A vulture’s gluttony and a child’s misery,

Child and scavenger, and an opportune
Aperture, a click of an image,

That made our consciences sweat.
The serendipity of a moment

That was too precious, not to be frozen,
In a perfect Kodak moment.

A Pulitzer for photography,
And a laissez-faire moment,

When apathy stood more transparent
Than a starving child’s ribcage.