Will I be chained to a work table? she should have asked, would have asked, knowing what she knows. Will I sleep, by my own free choice, out of fear of being docked, will I sleep beneath that table five nights a week? she should have asked, would have asked, knowing what she knows. Will I work, by my own free choice, out of fear of wetting myself, will I work all day without water? Will the bosses let me use the bathroom more than once per shift? She should have asked. She does send money home, not much for here, but for home a tidy sum. She makes a living in a new exciting country. Work is steady. Nothing they told her was untrue. She lives among women who understand her, speak her language and would do anything for her. They also should have asked. The boss would have to threaten them, their lives would have to be at stake, before they would turn against her, or she against them. Will others turn against me? she should have asked, would have asked, knowing what she knows. True, she is proud of the work she does, proud to send money home to her children. True, all true. Will my letters home be censored? she should have asked. She didn’t ask. If letters from home upset me, if reading them hurts production, will letters from home be denied me? Will I try to warn my children against this life? she should have asked. As years go by and my daughters thrive at home, with the help of what little I send them, will I stop trying to frighten them? Will I want them with me here? If they want to help their daughters, knowing what they know, won’t they ask?

Copyright ©1999-2006 David Hodges

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