Medea’s Cloak Returned

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9 January 2002
by Michael Feltes

There are moments when I awaken
that I feel like my bed clothes are on fire
There’s suffering woven into the fabric:
the pain of mothers walking beside their young daughters into the gaping
maw of the sweatshop
(Take Your Child To Work Day taken to a grotesque power)
the tremendous exhaustion for the laborer at the end of a 16 hour day
exhaustion that grows a little bit each day, for there are no days off
no rest for the weary
and the desperation, the tremendous desperation that must be theirs
as they try to stretch 18 cents an hour into the necessities of life
I’m sure that if they had an accountant, he would be able to play
magic with the numbers, make them into a sustainable budget
Sort of a postmodern Miracle of the Loaves and Fishes
But alas, no help is forthcoming
And so when I first awaken
and am most open
least cluttered
the sheets burn when they touch my skin
my sympathy inflames the suffering woven into the 230-count 100% cotton
But as I get more and more distracted by my life
that consciousness goes away

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