it was just another task

when i was half my age, i saw a dead body
directly in front of my face, lying on the hood
of a van. it was a driver who was thrown out
of the seat in a head-on collision and smashed
through the windscreen, but a displaced steering
system blocked his body half way through.
and so he remained, slung over the crushed front
of the car, unrecognisable as his skull exploded
in a collision with the hardened glass.

why do i mention these gruesome details?
because when i was photographing the scene
as a young reporter, i felt absolutely nothing.
my job was to take a picture for the front page,
and that is what i was focusing on. the body
in front of me was just a task, one of many that day.
all i was concerned about was not stepping
on the brain pieces carefully picked up
by the funeral director.

and it was only when i got back
to the editorial office and started reviewing the photos
that waves of cold and heat ran through my body
and i could not stop my hands from shaking.
in that one moment, i understood how easy it is
to overlook a man.

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