Palm

Number 15 in 30 in 30, a series of writing challenges. Over the course of 30 days (sometimes even in a row!), I will draft a post within 30 minutes. This 30-day theme is: News Stories. Today’s writing was inspired by an AP investigation in labor abuses in the palm oil industry.

Trees stretch
Heavenward
Eking out from the sun’s
Rays all the
Evergreen lost
In the pockets of
Supervisors, traffickers, CEOs
None to those below
Obscured by the canopy
Encaged, enraged, by circumstance
Tethered to a land, a
Host they cannot trust
Invisible to
Customers grabbing products in the malls, on
Amazon, in local shops,
Living their best lives
Concerned but unconcerned about the
Oppressed beyond their borders
Never seeing the
Serfdom in their palms
Unaware of the deaths they hold
Modernity’s requirements
Palm trees sway
Tipped by the gust of
Indonesian winds
On and on, they trek, the lost ones,
Never ceasing
Unable to escape
No one sees the fear
Dyed in their
Eyes, etched in the
Ridges of their faces, the
Cost of something so cheap
As the filler in my candy,
Put down the scythe,
Ill built for this work,
Take up the loom
And weave all the
Lost ones back
Into our fabric,
Share and
Make the world anew

Ending: Day 7 of the Story A Day Challenge

Today’s prompt by Becca Puglisi was to write a story that ended with the line: “I clicked off the safety, swearing that if she showed her face today, my room would be the last one she ever entered.” (I made some slight edits to the line.)

Content warning: trafficking (labor), violence, misogynistic slur
—————–
I race home. Running past the houses, proud but in need of care. The sun hitting the back of my neck and threatening to burn or further brown the skin there. I’d left my hat at home, again. Just a few more colorful homes and then there is my door.

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