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I Saw Your Picture Today

Marilyn Buck


For Lori Berenson,
Internationalist Political Prisoner

Dear Lori,
I saw your photo in the newspaper
You, posed
between sinister sun-glassed security agents,
two women in double breasted suits
bodies rigid
cruelty pressed upon their lips.
You were labeled the terrorist.

I've seen many photos like that
shot from below
looking up the nose
     nostrils flared
snapped when the lower jaw is dropped
     and the teeth are bared.
Even Miss America
would look fiendish
shot from below.

Photos may be contrivances
one one-hundred-and-twenty-fifth second
of the subject's existence
Reality framed
to depict reality.

Yes, photography is an art
an inception and or deception.
Truth and solidarity
can not be captured
by a single click of the shutter.

February 1996

Published in Syracuse Peace Letters, March 1997
(Note: More on Lori Berenson
can be found at freelori.org).

Lori Berenson at parole hearing Lori Berenson at hearing granting her parole, May 2010

Lori Berenson in prison

Lori Berenson in prison in Peru before parole