Am reposting this poem prompted by the hapless lives of child laborers in Bangladesh so the rest of the world could sport clothes like unrepentant dandies. In light of the recent disaster where hundreds of garment workers perished in the rubbles of a building housing five garment factories, this should call attention to their plight.
THE CLOTH STAINER
Two of her ten children drowned in that river
retrieving rolls of cloth grabbed by current
swollen by monsoon rains; rescuers found
them upstream near the Bay wrapped snugly
in the newly coloured sheets as if they simply
stole sleep and took a nap when they could.
When the Giant Tiger supplier from the city
asked for his stained raw materials that day,
he found the old woman starting to colour some
new rolls all over again. He said he would not
wait, and paid another gaunt stainer, bundled
his purchase, and threw it hurriedly into his truck.
Laundry day today. The shirt I am throwing into
the hamper, could it be from that roll in Bangladesh?
--- ALBERT B. CASUGA