trouble

I had my camera and I took a shot through
the shop window
and a rather tall ugly lady
neck bent forward
ran out of the shop.

“what are you doing?”
she asked,
“what did you photograph?”

“I photographed the naked manikin,”
I told her.

“I’d rather you didn’t take any more
photos,” she said.

“all right,” I said and I walked down
the street with my camera
with her staring after me.

I felt guilty and upset even though
I had done nothing really
improper.
it usually happened to me
at least once a day.

I turned, dropped to one knee,
focused, and photographed her.
she waved her arms and screamed
and I shot her again.

the trouble with these people is
that their cities have never been
bombed and their mothers have never
been told to shut up.

Author
Charles Bukowski
Written
1979
Source
Original manuscript
This poem appeared in the following books: