As many of you know, I am passionate about nature. However, as a human being, I am not only concerned about our neglect of the environment but our disregard for humanity. We have been branded by the label of humankind which has, in some cases, degraded to humunkind. I wrote this poem in January 2010 to raise awareness about sweat shops and the mass production of brand name products. I know that there are stricter laws in place here to provide safer and cleaner workplaces, but the United States still sells a majority of “made in China” merchandise. I find it very hypocritical that some Americans can hold such a fervent phobia of foreigners while still continuing to purchase overseas products. I admit that I have been just as guilty, but try to make a point to purchase “made in America” products. It helps our economy and I’d like to think our legal system has put in some checks and balances. But I know it is not a perfect world. I hope this poem makes you think and question the gravity of your decisions at the marketplace. I am primarily a positive person but, like you, I have strong feelings and emotions. Looking back now, the last few lines are harsh and I wrote them while caught up in the moment. While poets have to live with their words and actions just as anyone else, they have a responsibility to shed light into the darkness. This light is our conscience – all words are not meant to look pretty on paper, but they can hold more weight.
Billions buy brand names
without knowing the gravity
of their purchasing impasse.
tailor-made by slaves
who are too poor
to learn another trade.
What culture has bred
this selfish meat market of
disproportionate price tags,
mental suffering and physical pain?
It is not just happening overseas
but in the States; cheap labor
saves pennies for profit
in the big businessman’s pocket.
Mexicans and Puerto Ricans
dig ditches as if they were their own graves
to die impoverished, destitute and in shame,
the final resting place of those without
a face, name or politically correct ethnicity.
Although the family is a coveted prize, so dear to the senators,
do they hear the woman’s cries for her dying baby,
too weak, even, to open its eyes and see its mother
before meeting its maker?
No matter the legal process, we are all on trial
for acts of injustice
that stain the soil both here and afar,
the scars afflicted on others
will run so long they will exceed even China’s Great Wall.
The eighth wonder of the world will be a mass burial
of discarded souls, piled as high as the Tower of Babel.