Brenda Smith’s “Shredded” after Steve McCurry

At Art of Poetry on September 19, Betty O’Hearn reads Brenda Smith’s poem based on the photograph “Welder in a Ship-Breaking Yard” by Steve McCurry.
Photo courtesy of Roger and Ginny Sanford.

Brenda Smith
after “Welder in a Ship-Breaking Yard” by Steve McCurry

He wields sharp chunks of metal
into disassembly
his eyes stabbing.

How could you capture me like this?
Do you like what you see, eh?
Would you like to come closer so
you can humble me more?
So you can expose more deeply my poverty?
I once thought that disassembling
could be honorable
could be the tearing down
so another thing could be built up.
But, now, I see only ugly rusted metal
lying in massive shards everywhere.
I never see where the misshapen
metal carcasses go.
Never see a new thing created.
Never get out of this
shipyard of ruined hulls.
Never see if what I tear down
can be built up again.

Yet you who stand before me
capturing my accusing eyes.
You are free to walk away
to see things made new.
Everywhere you go.

About missmellibrary

A children's librarian who loves to excite youth about reading!
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2 Responses to Brenda Smith’s “Shredded” after Steve McCurry

  1. Excellent! We should not be going to Mars; we should be combatting poverty and hunger.

  2. patricia deaton says:

    Spot on, Brenda!

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