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A WGS Quarterly Publication

December 2008 newsletter: DREAMS WITH A PRICE

By Ellen-Rae Cachola
November 2, 2008

**Read by Cachola at the Women for Genuine Security Open House, Walking on the Fenceline –
  November 17, 2008, Manilatown Center, San Francisco USA

Migrant worker chooses to leave son behind
Carries his screams and cries in her luggage
And even though his mangled wails grow distant,
Overwhelmed by the whining of the tricycle motor,
Demands of a work ethic churn in her soul
Oiled by industrialized dreams that build pathways
Out of the barangay, provincial limits.
She dares to transgress. Not for herself
But for her descendants.
Crossing the borders out of the mother land
She becomes a mother without land.
Her child, a scent perfuming the clothes on her back.

It took her 2 days to fly to Jordan.
She waited half a day at the recruiter’s office.
The men that passed in and out
Looked at her and raised their eyebrows.
They would speak in their language.
But the word Maganda would trigger her ear.
She swung her head to see who said it
And two of them would look at her.

She was driven by a chauffer to a house
A woman with a shawl covering her head
Waited at the door.
She did not shake her hand or hug her.
Migrant worker was told in accented English
You follow me.
Back turned to her upon entrance.
Work began.
Little room with no windows
Right next to kitchen.
Big kitchen, one window above sink.
Modern refrigerator
Those stoves with no coil but underneath flat plastic surface
Marble floors.
Beautiful, Tagaytay home, she thought.
And the closet of brooms, mops came tumbling from the closet.
the madam said.
At night, Migrant worker would cry
Smelling her night dress
Her son all around her…

The door opens.
The Master of the house.
He pulls the beaded string from the ceiling
And the bulb that hangs
shines a violent bright.
Stings her eyes.
He says,
I want to look at you.
She sits up from her bed
Looks at him, squinting
Hands cupped over her eyes.
She can see him smile
Lick his lips
And come forward.
She begins to whimper
As he gets closer
She turns her head and hopes for the madam to come
She cries -- Madam
And he slaps her
She sits with her hand on her cheek
And he grabs her by the wrists
And pushes her to lie down
While she wriggles
And cries
And says no. po.
Haan. No. po
An jiakayat.
Oh god. Stop..

Legs pried open
With his knees that dig deep
Into her thighs
The sharp pain of a Charlie horse
Stab her heart
Like his tongue intruding
Her mouth
Breath of cigar,
Some liquor
Some musk cologne…
Ripped panty
Buckle snapping off
And penetration

She is gone
Away from home.
Only the memory of her son
Growing distant and blurred
Like looking through a water droplet
Dripping down the tricycle’s plastic window
And his face wet
In the rain
Calling out Mama
While she whisks herself away
Heartbeat in rhythm with the clapping
Of the gasoline engine
Sputtering the lies of quick cash
But enough to buy some chiclets.
so you won’t have to sell them no more.



December 2008 Newsletter
Words that Define Us
Dreams with a Price by Ellen-Rae Cachola
Women for Genuine Security

Printable Version: December 2008 Printable Version







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