The Girl in the Photo by Rang-Zeb Rango Hussain

That was what they called her,
But her name was Phan Thị Kim Phúc,
It spoke louder than the lacerated burn marks upon her back,
The bird plane dropped an egg of fire
and left the stink of the slaughterhouse,
of dead cattle and the sweat of fear leaked through the air
on that dread June day.

She knew the crunch of boots snapping bones
in the wild jungle yard,
Hard boots,
Cold boots,
Heavy boots,
Nailed boots,
Boots that stamped your soul with death.

The barbed wire rose high into the blue sky,
It curled around the camp
in a grip tighter than a vice,
Her home torched to the ground,
Her school scraped off the ground,
And then
In the summer of ’72 they tore her soul in two.

FILE - In this June 8, 1972 file photo, crying children, including 9-year-old Kim Phuc, center, run down Route 1 near Trang Bang, Vietnam after an aerial napalm attack on suspected Viet Cong hiding places as South Vietnamese forces from the 25th Division walk behind them. A South Vietnamese plane accidentally dropped its flaming napalm on South Vietnamese troops and civilians. From left, the children are Phan Thanh Tam, younger brother of Kim Phuc, who lost an eye, Phan Thanh Phouc, youngest brother of Kim Phuc, Kim Phuc, and Kim's cousins Ho Van Bon, and Ho Thi Ting. (AP Photo/Nick Ut)

FILE – In this June 8, 1972 file photo, crying children, including 9-year-old Kim Phuc, center, run down Route 1 near Trang Bang, Vietnam after an aerial napalm attack on suspected Viet Cong hiding places as South Vietnamese forces from the 25th Division walk behind them. A South Vietnamese plane accidentally dropped its flaming napalm on South Vietnamese troops and civilians. From left, the children are Phan Thanh Tam, younger brother of Kim Phuc, who lost an eye, Phan Thanh Phouc, youngest brother of Kim Phuc, Kim Phuc, and Kim’s cousins Ho Van Bon, and Ho Thi Ting. (AP Photo/Nick Ut)

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