Regina, The Washer Woman


Regina, The Washer Woman
by Alanna Truong
Written 2010

Dedicated to a beautiful woman I met in Kolkata, India.

I awake with the sun
Though I ache before I’ve begun
Yesterdays chore is done
Now todays load must be wrung
Today's ode is just about to be sung

The prosperous, their glance inhumane
Am I a louse that they’d stance to disdain?
One day I might chance ascertain;
I’ll say, like a neighbor with no social divide:
“I labour each day with pride
for a piece of paper which applied,
might permit my family to survive.”

But these wealthy see only my sari that is worn
From their seat in the gharry they see my veil is torn
No jewels trinkets or bangles do I adorn
They see not the five children I’ve born
Not the two dead babies I mourn.

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