A Cup of Tea

She starts with the chores at first sign of light
Then into the fields with basket strapped tight.
She picks all day long in the hot, hot sun
And is wearily glad when the day is done.
Basket heavy with leaves she has picked
Her fingers are sore and her back is ricked.
Her harvest is weighed and she’s paid a pittance
For her sweat and toil it’s poor remittance.
Home and the family meal to prepare
There’s very little – she’s too tired to care.
Evening over, she’s given her best
At last, thank God, she can lie down to rest.
Still she can’t sleep and she wakes with a fright,
Decisions, they haunt her all through the night.
Fees for the school or drugs for the baby
Should it be a little of each maybe?
And what does it taste like? She lies and thinks
These leaves she picks that they turn into drinks.
She dreams one day her children might know
Schooled and healthy, they could prosper and grow.
Who, on earth, can make her dream come true?
If we shop with care, then it’s me and you.

CJP 2006

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