Just Another Day


for the victims of a deadly fire at the Tazreen Factory near Dhaka, Bangladesh on 24th November 2012
———
She woke up when the sun had barely
risen above the paling horizon
and joined the moving column of slaves
heading down to work, like everyday.
Along the way in the cold morning breeze
her malnourished limbs and nimble fingers froze.
She hurried on her skinny legs, shivering
half out of hunger and half from the chill
clasping her hands together, seeking warmth.
Had she known that soon she’d never be cold again!
Then she arrived at the gate, three feet wide
and five feet tall where the restless doorman
waited with chains and sturdy locks in his hand
to lock the exit when all the slaves
like herself had come inside for their shift.
With that done the doorman could go to sleep
for twelve hours as he did everyday.
But it wasn’t to be just another day,
as fate had it, in hours a sudden flame
broke out and engulfed the floor where she worked.
She was trapped with hundreds in that furnace of death!
Though she tried to climb down the lone staircase,
the fire burned more viciously near the gate
and the doorman who had the keys was sleeping still…

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