More Please

Written by: Lorraine Ferns

(I wrote this poem for a non-profit organisation called the Worker's Action Centre in Toronto: http://www.workersactioncentre.org/  It was for their wage theft campaign.)

I think of Oliver, standing there, 
eyes upturned,
bowl in hand
More Please!


I hold a cheque in my hand, 
eyes upturned,
my hand clenching
More…pleasssse! I earned more!


Stomach knotting,
my eyes flicker closed,
even just for a moment, 
for just one moment
let me be…
somewhere, someone 
else.


How can they not understand?

Don’t they care, don’t they get it!
About the twists, and the aches of life, 
or of the dreams; you had! I had!
We had!

My children! My child! My life!
How can I buy for you?

Food again, not on the table
tormenting, my innards, 
my despair, 
my need,

 your need
our need
everyone’s need

to just live!