This poem is an overseas contract worker

(after Miguel M. Morales)

This poem arrived alone
close to midnight, with no
traveling companions, with two
pieces of luggage that rolled
across the cobblestones, looking
for the address it was given.

This poem sat uneasy in the back
seat of the yellow cab, looking
out at unfamiliar landmarks wrapped
in fog as the driver remarked, off-
hand, You’re a brave one to be
by yourself at this hour.

This poem slept on a couch
in someone’s living room for three
weeks, until they found others like her
to room with, until the first check
from the hiring agency came, less
agency deductibles and expenses.

This poem shyly accepted
the invitation to a church function;
wives and sisters piled her plate
with food. Taking her home after,
one of the husbands touched
her breasts and laughed.

This poem stole an hour
before her workday began at dawn
to write letters to her children
back home: but never did she let on
how many hours she worked, how meagre
the meals compared to the blows.

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