Dressed to Kill
Treated myself to a new dress
for my best friend’s twentieth birthday.
Didn’t cost a lot; embroidered flowers
on pink satin, with sequins
‘Made in Bangladesh’, wherever
that is, the label read; inside
one of the pockets, a slip of paper
inspected by No. 23, or so it said.
Try to imagine what she looks like...
whoever sewed it...sitting at a bench –
sun blazing down outside – talking
to No. 24 about her family... her kids;
how the youngest is teething – keeping
them up all night
and that pretty soon, god willing,
there’d be yet another hungry mouth to feed,
another bowl of rice to find.
Maybe I should tell her – a small daisy,
on the sleeve was missing one of its petals,
and the thread she’d used had snagged
on a couple of roses...
Or maybe, remind her of that quote
of Leonard Cohen’s.
‘There’s a crack in everything so the light
gets through’, but I don’t suppose she’d hear me
over the din of those machines...as she
threads another bead...
nor even he
who pays her wages.
Hang another dress in my wardrobe.