Mine is intricate work,
Delicate, heartfelt and painful.
I cannot count how many times these weary, small fingers of mine
Have repeated the same, monotonous job.
I often marvel how those little heroes work day and night
And save me the bruise caused by the Malacca cane and the dirty language he uses.
More harmful than the pungent scene of tobacco that accompanies it.
I cower from the sunlight that occasionally seeps in through the dusty window,
So used are my eyes to the blinding darkness and flares of the welding machine.
But the sights I see of the world outside,
Quite fascinate me.
I see children there, like me,
Only that, unlike me, they always smile.
They have numerous toys to play with,
I too would be happy, if the work I did was anything close to fun and frolic…
Those children in the world outside love their toys,
These machines are what cause so much pain to me.
Nobody appreciates the things I do,
While they get pats and kisses for merely building castles out of toy bricks.
When they are sick they go to these big white buildings, called hospitals, so I’ve heard,
But I cannot recount a day when I haven’t coughed.
The smoke from the flares and his ever-lit cigarette,
Form a thick blanket,
Only that instead of comforting me,
It chokes me.
They eat such good food,
I see their stomachs full, often more than that.
Whereas I live with a roti at dawn, 2 at noon and 1 at dusk each blackened by the soot-coated hands that made them,
Those that I call mine.
I see such good food tossed with the highest disregard into those bins,
And I pause to think of how God has created all of us – one side the underprivileged and worthy of luxuries, the other the overprivileged and deserving of poverty.
And I cry when I see this every day,
When I see them running into their caring parents’ hands,
I do not recall of receiving warmth from anyone or anything,
Except the welding machine in the corner.
My guardian is the man who owns this place,
Nothing else will I call him; so much he hurts me.
I ask you; am I not a child like them?
Am I not deserving of all of the luxuries, apparent normalcies for them?
Yet why am I here?
Am I the chosen one, for if then, I think it is time God chooses someone else!
But alas, nobody listens,
So I get back to my job, blocked from the outside world by a stony wall and a dusty window.