COMMUNITY VOICE: <br/> Dearest Maids

COMMUNITY VOICE:
Dearest Maids

 

Dorothea Diba's poem speaks about violence against domestic workers. She was inspired by the plight of Indonesian domestic workers in the Middle East and Asia.

Like it's been said
The further you seek, the less you should rest
You searched for a maid
To help you cope, give you sanity, yet more games be played
Yelling things, spelling out affairs
Well, maids ain't machines, there's a life she bears

Desired for riches
Hunted for treasures
Hopping up the distance
She's there in an instant
Bet you took her to truth or dare
Did you think she's just a fare
Salient, aren't you, took her as a minor
Forgot, didn't you, how she's just like your prior

Her hair so lovely
Dark, black and shiny
Beautiful, you thought, while dragging her there
The more she cried, the more you said she is fair
Amazed by her skin
You touched her from chin
What was next, you knew, then banged her to the wall
The fairy fainted, you smiled, watched her tears fall.

She made you tea, bent on her knees
You said "Gee," as you rubbed her tees
Tried to peek through her door
There she laid on the floor
Nearly dead she was.

But freedoms don't come fast
Lack of ideas for stealing her beauty
You took the iron and swabbed her slowly
As if the cigars couldn't do enough
You took the fuel and burnt her like a branch

No wonder like it's been said
To hell this world has turned red
We believe there's more like you
Nasty and cruel just like you
We believe there's more like you
So sad, a pity, still, lots stay mute.

 

Yogyakarta, Feb 11th 2009


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Comments (2)


SHIRLEY HASSON
United States

Dorothea Diba’s poem, “Dearest Maids” presents the harsh realities of mistreatment that many female domestic workers endure. While she does it in a graceful and sensitive manner, she leaves the reader with a strong need for concern and awareness. The poem, truthful and bold, raises issues of physical and psychological abuse; abuse which is often times unknown, ignored or suppressed because of the low social status of domestic workers and lack of regulation of the conditions of their work. Majority of these workers leave their homes behind only to find that they are desired and hunted by their new employers.

While such violence of rape and misery goes unreported in many cases, the issues at hand are very real. These workers are often times isolated and mistreated in ways that are globally characterized as inhumane. Diba’s words express the violent acts and the desperateness for hope and freedom. These workers flee poverty for a chance at a better life only to endure further mistreatment and risk of trafficking and cruelty. They cannot be heard because they are vulnerable and isolated. This poem will tear through the heart of any reader, conveying harsh imagery while bringing the significant issues of violence to the surface.

n my opinion, Community Voice is the sound of the injustice and cruelty and deprivation of self, a sound that comes out of the child not to desire to exercise habits harmful to them, and Cry The girl with the loudest voice to emerge from darkness imposed by society is the oppressor and the oppressor to give up your freedom and link you to the so-called customs and traditions that hide you are.



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