February 2, 2023


Writer's Showcase

The Photograph

1 min read

Bamiyan, November 19, 2003. A mother and her two children look out from their cave dwelling. Many families fleeing the Taliban took refuge inside caves adjacent to Bamiyan’s destroyed ancient Buddha statues and now have nowhere else to live.

A random image on the internet: Intended to show the hopelessness of people caught in the maelstrom of war. That was where it all came to me.

I saw their plight, even before the darkness came.
She was holding her two children.
One in each arm.
And they were all bathed in blue light.
It was just a moment.
Just a gathering of souls.
There was just something about her.
It was written on her face.
She didn’t want us to see her fear.
Didn’t want her children to know
The depths to which mankind can stoop.

© Allen Ansell 2022



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4 thoughts on “The Photograph

  1. A fellow poet on PoetBay said of this, ” You’ve given us a snapshot of humanity, the final line says it all.”

  2. Such a masterpiece! In few lines you have described this poem very well. The last two lines hit me right in the gut! Keep up the good work. Thank you:)

  3. I am actually clapping in my head after reading this fabulous poem. The bitter truth you told about the humanity was ohhh. Not only that, this poem has even more than that which is overshadowed by the last lines, the love and concern and protective nature for her children. She tries to protect her children from this mean, dirty and harmful world. Really allen, I must tell you, that you’ve told the truth of this world be it a mother’s emotion or the inhumanity of people.

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