A TRUNKFUL OF BOYS
after “Boys in the Boot of a Taxi” by Steve McCurry
The pumpkin-hued car fairly shouts “America!”
with its garish color, and fins, and all
But pop the trunk and inside what should appear?
Half a dozen black-eyed boys, plus one
Like bobble-heads, except motionless, they’re just there,
sitting stiffly, almost at attention, so solemn looking
Expressionless, for the most part—if there’s
any look at all—it’s defiant, challenging.
One can’t help wondering what the story is here
Why are the boys in the trunk of the car?
Are they only posing for the picture?
Is someone transporting them somewhere?
Are they trying to escape to somewhere?
The last two scenarios bear considering.
But, isn’t it strange that seven boys this young
are all staring into a camera
and not one of them smiles even a little, not
It’s hard not to wonder why they’re so serious;
why there isn’t something that would make one
of them crack up.
Don’t you think?
Canadian poet, S.E. Ingraham, who attended the Fall Face to Face in the Foothills Poetry Gathering in September, was inspired by the haunting Steve McCurry photograph above. Her work was read by Art of Poetry’s Melissa Hager at the December 12, 2015 event in Hickory, NC.