People Who Ate Delhi’s Smoke

We are the cursed boat people

They said we have snatched their jobs

And then, we were killed in a factory

before we could call them murderers.


They outraged over jobs, onions, freedom

They said we were dying, with anger in their hearts,

fire in their voices …

We applauded, eyes moist,

“They stand up for us, our hungry bellies, our empty plates”

We had to die to know

Those were mere speeches.


(C) Pallavi Singh, December 2019.

Photo credit:

#Labour #FactoryFire #MigrantLabourers

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