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Photojournalism: 3rd Place , Afghan Children, 2005

Jamie O’Halloran

To say the scab blooms
            Across her cheek is trite enough,
                        Hiding pain into pretending

Girl’s ear is a Weston pepper.                
            Beauty is distance.
                        The other cheek.

Pain lacks composition.
            The ruffle of sheet, the rustic
                        Ribbon round her neck,

Like a hobo’s tie, like a fashion
            Shoot. But who was there?
                        The man with the camera.

Blooming is in the eye
            Of the beholder. Who wouldn’t rather
                        a bud opening

To a 3rd degree burn?
            Distant observer, I push myself
                        Away from the lonely      ward,

From the inadequate bandage and absent
            care. My dumb comfort disturbed
                        by beauty as truth.