Thursday, August 18, 2011


The skylight: fragments of cheap wood painted white,

In the light of the light that it lets through, a sight:

Gnarled hands, less wretched than the reflections of years ago,

Saving grace, maybe? There is no such thing, not even so-so.

The work-floor littered with fabric, sweat and thread,

Heads down, eyes squinting, compact like lead.

The hues are not their own, the patterns manufactured,

No satisfaction without ownership, sir, only a socialism fractured.

In this market: subsidized glue, empathy at cost,

What about sympathy? At a discount, sir, not all is lost.

Snip-snip with metal, chit-chat with mouth and heart,

Cut-piece, full-piece, factory design, organizational chart.

All this in a day. At the end of it, chup-chup.

Watch them wrap up, picking up the pieces, look-look!

They have cut, copied, pasted, but this is not Seattle,

This is India, sir, land of gods and cattle.

Supervisor saab, in dusty shoes, surveys, not short of uprightly,

When he looks away, they pick up the quilts, and walk out quietly.

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