Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Indentured Labourer


Image by Musin Yohan
Courtesy Tess Kinkaid, Magpie Tales on Blogger

From a far off land she came
Rolling across rough seas
With promises of 
A better life
In the West Indies

Days and nights meld into one
The routine just the same
No one cares
About her life
As she cuts the cane

Now the rains are fast in coming
Falling now until December
And all the 
Time she toils
She refuses to remember

Barbara M Lake  ©
Trinidad WI
July 2013


  1. Love particularly your last stanza. You saw too her toil and aloneness.

    1. That's how it felt to me. I won't go into all the details as I have done several posts on this site about the indentured labourers coming here from India with the promise of a better life. They worked their fingers to the bone in the cane fields and now their descendants are reaping the benefits. She looked so alone and this is how the picture spoke to me.

  2. I liked how you you moved this to your own island. I think the story of labourers could be translated almost anywhere and in any era, right up to the present day. Refusing to remember is her only survival tactic. Very well done.

    1. Thank you Nell. This is what happened on this island when people came from India, the first on the Fatel Razak and that is how we now have a massive East Indian population.

  3. ... sigh ... I so hope there are people who care. Your poem is compelling, love the title.

    1. When they came, they were known as 'indentured labourers'. After slavery, the plantation owners needed labour and so many left India believing that they would have a better life here. I know many people whose ancestors came. They brought their religion, their culture, their music, their food and settled here in conditions that were for some, just as bad as the slaves had experienced. The difference was that they were free but that did not take away from the harsh conditions they had to endure.

  4. Some people have to labor so hard for so little. It is a sad situation.
    Your poem is so appropriate for this picture. Alone in a storm has so many meanings.

    1. Yes they do LadyCat. It's a global predicament.

  5. Bee this is so lovely and needs to be set to music...

  6. Thank last line pulled it all together and made my heart ache.

  7. A heartbreaker. REminds me of Jean Rhys biography.

  8. Poignant piece of poetry and photograph! Well done, as always, Bee. ♥

  9. Thank you to everyone I didn't get back to.


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