Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Baby Left Alone

From a Photograph by Dorothea Lange

The baby had been crying for some time
his father drunk and off somewhere,
his mother sleeping in a ragged
flea infested tent, her eyelids shuttered
and ears deafened to the inconvenient world.
A child’s eyes shine,
even when crying there is a depth,
an inward glint of immense possibilities.
This one has cried so long, so hard
its face is no longer soft.
Dimples of sorrow are creased
in his brow as he clutches
the dirty burlap curtain
hung in the truck window.
His eyes are black pools
of empty longing.
The door isn’t locked, just shut,
but his confinement is no less complete.
A face hardly more than a year old,
with the expression of an adult
beaten down by life, or fate
or choices – not choices for this one, though,
just a baby, crying, alone,
adrift in poverty, his father drunk
and his mother asleep.

No comments:

Post a Comment