Diaspora Women - Poem by Anil Soneji
Like curbside urchins, litter strewn
Beneath bridges and Tramways of Wanchai
Tribal encampments of Filipino women
Potlatch "Valentine Romances", Religious
blather and soft secrets,
Played out each homeless Hong Kong Sunday. Across from the Ritz Carlton
They share their Eucharist
In plastic boxes with plastic spoons.
Six days of scullery work and breaking bread
Reward them a seventh of sad freedom. Jean-fondled hips caressing fingers
Holding hands with lovers gone
They learn to live without them now,
While jostling at washroom doors
To preen for absent male stares Chater street womanhood marooned by contracts
And brief-cased bullies trample them underground.
Yet these bright colours a-jumble on dead Sunday streets
Are like posters ripped off walls and forgotten.
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