Whiskers of a dead man
donít grow while you watch.
You must take your camera
and turn away for a while,
give the body time to find
a shadow or two.

Place him in a chair
as if he has just now
set aside his book.
Deep in thought, his brow
makes a symptomatic argument
for rapid burial.

Move the apparatus
in order to gain the best light,
but keep the noise down.
The need to direct your subject has expired.
When the shutter clicks, take no notice
of the way he seems to flinch.

Ann Walters: lives in the Pacific Northwest. Her poetry has appeared in numerous online and print journals, including The Pedestal Magazine, Poet Lore, The Orange Room Review, Poetry International, and Fifth Wednesday Journal. She is a Pushcart Prize nominee.


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