Tourist Snapping Pictures of Children in Mali

by X. J. Kennedy ’51GSAS
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In a dust-cluttered back street of Bamako
The tourist halts, collects a yelping pack
By granting them an instant picture show:
Behold! Their faces in his camera’s back!

Whooping, they crowd in, overjoyed to spot
A crony framed in liquid crystal display,
A naked little sister. It’s their lot
To live unphotographed until this day

When a vacationing wizard from the sky
Brings them a glowing screen in which to peer,
An instrument beyond their means to buy,
Whose cost might feed a family for a year.

A chill besets the tourist. Now he feels
His hands upon his Pentax clamp like locks
Lest it be stolen; now he blithely steals
Away these children in his light-tight box.

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