THE GIRL IN THE PICTURE for Phan Thi Kim Phuc by Doug Rawlings

Published on: November 11, 2016

Filed Under: Connections to Today, Featured, Poet's Corner

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THE GIRL IN THE PICTURE

            for Phan Thi Kim Phuc
“Whatever you run from becomes your shadow.”– traditional
If you’re a namvet, a survivor of sorts,
she’ll come for you across the decades
casting a shadow in the dying light of your dreams,
naked and nine, terror in her eyes
Of course you will have to ignore her —
if you wish to survive over the years —
but then your daughters will turn nine
and then your granddaughters nine
As the shadows lengthen.
So, you will have no choice on that one night
screaming down the Ridge Road, lights off,
under a full moon, she standing in the middle of the road,
still naked and nine, terror in her eyes
Now you must stop to pick her up, to carry her back
home to where she came from, to that gentle
village where the forgiving and the forgiven
gather at high noon. There are no shadows.
~ Doug Rawlings, 2016

One Response to THE GIRL IN THE PICTURE for Phan Thi Kim Phuc by Doug Rawlings

  1. Robert Malecki says:

    Actually this picture I received from a Jesuit priest outside the Allison division of GM, which produced tanks. It set me off as a veteran and set me on the path to opposing the war. Among other things takin responsibility for the destruction of 10s of thousands of draft records calling up kids to serve as well as taking responsibility for the destruction of the International computer system of Dow Chemical which produced the napalm and agent orange used in that war. 47 years later living in exile a country which gave me asylum and I have no regrets.

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