I am your maid, I am your house help
I am your nobody.
I am a Nepali, I am a Uzbek
I am an Indian, I am a Caribbean
I am an African, I am a Burmese
I am a Chinese, I am a Pakistani
I am of every nation on the Earth.
I polish your shoes, I wash your clothes
I clean your house, I cook your food
I press your garments, I water your plants
I mow your lawns, I tender your garden
I drive your car, I guard your property
I look after your children, I shop for your groceries
I see to your every comfort.
I live in windowless holes
I eat leftovers from the kitchen
I sleep on the floor
I am first to rise, I am last to sleep
I work seven days a week
I am always at your beck and call
without any breaks, I don't celebrate festivals
I sob at nights abused and assaulted.
I speak your language in smatterings
I only listen, you speak
I am dumb-witted
I am a half-alive robot
I am a still-born Cinderella.
I am a cuckoo that can't sing
I am a swan that can't swim
I am a tiger that can't roar
I am an eagle that can't fly
I am without a past and future
I am merely present.
I live unloved
I am an easy prey for you
my breasts ever ready to be suckled
my words— my silence.
My passport forfeited
my earnings withheld
my body sick, my hands rough
my feet full of cracks
my shoes old, my clothes torn.
I am chained to your monstro-city
back home, someone waits on the deathbed
to be fed, to be bathed, to be cured.
Someone waits for my last glimpse.
(First published in Muse India)