I could hardly believe when I was told
that many thousands of Mexicans would be so bold
as to appear in the huge Cathedral square
bereft of both outer and underwear.
But I found it was true, to my great surprise,
and I witnessed the scene with my very own eyes.
Assembled in their original birthday suits
as well as clothes, they had cast off shoes and boots.
Most arrived in informal dress
and not one showed any signs of stress.
Some did appear in elegant togs
and a few even turned up wearing clogs.
Their permission the authorities did not negate
and said they would gladly cooperate.
The Tourist Board showed great elation
saying it would make Mexico an attractive destination.
What the purpose of the display was I could not but wonder.
Was the whole fabric of society being torn asunder?
Many demurred, I was told, when invited to take part
until they learned that it was all for the sake of art.
So there they gathered from every profession and class
and even, it is rumoured, from the very top brass.
Some short, some tall, some thin and some fat
none hiding under a sombrero or even a hat.
There were those with physiques so exceedingly trim
it was obvious they spent hours at the gym.
Then there were others who, I regret to say, were flabby
but, without any clothes, none could be described as shabby.
Though Spencer Tunick, who organized the photo shoot,
is a photographer of well-earned repute,
many had thought that this particular photo op
would surely result in a total flop.
But when Tunick surveyed the unlikely event,
he could hardly conceal his delighted content.
Though he had arranged others in many another location
he had ever before achieved such an impressive formation.
His amateur models were a cinch to guide
and to follow his instructions they all valiantly tried.
When he said they should form an arrow shape
not one attempted to escape.
He suggested they ought to stand to attention
and follow well-established convention
and salute their nation’s flag flying high
whose huge size almost blocked out the sky.
A splendid time was had by all
and none present there could quite recall
another occasion when no-one could really be sure
about who was rich and who was poor.
It turned out to be such a great success
that most were ready to confess
it had caused them such surprising hilarity,
they would gladly do it again, but next time for charity.
One dissenting voice said to the Church it was an affront,
but it is hard to see how, to be quite blunt.
If our Maker had wanted us about clothes to care
why did we all arrive here completely bare?
* Artist Spencer Tunick persuaded 18,000 Mexicans to pose nude in Mexico City’s
main square on 6 May 2007 – a world record