Garment Girls


The garment girls, walking together,
look like hundreds of birds flying in Bangladesh’s sky.

Garments girls, returning to their slums at midnight,
are met by street-vagabonds who grab a few takas from the girls,
pushing their bodies into the girls bodies,
stealing the night’s spoils.

Despite sleepless night, before dawn the girls again walk together,
men’s mouths getting watery when they pass and spit,
the girls avoiding as many as they can,
eating nobody’s food, wearing nobody’s clothes, walking, walking on.

Like blind bullocks, they trudge ahead,
have-nots dependent upon the haves,
forbidden to enjoy the sky’s rainbows,
fated to be thrown around, fingered, raped in darkness and fear
instead of bathing joyfully in the moonlit night.

Like hundreds of Bangladesh flying in the world’s sky,
the garment girls walk on, walk on.

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