Slavery

Did you know?
She was loved.
Back home,
She was loved,
Even though
She was hungry.

Coming to America,
On the cruise ship
With the rich people
Manman promised her
That life would be
Favorable.
She was one of the
Fortunate ones
To go to this land
Where everyone
Goes to school
And
Everyone
Learns to read.

Now, she doesn’t yet know what a school is,
For she doesn’t go to one
In this land
Where everyone
Goes to school.

She doesn’t read
In this land
Where everyone
Learns to read.

She does dishes,
She smiles and pretends,
She folds the clothes,
She gets slapped,
She wakes the children,
She fixes the breakfast,
She vacuums, irons, washes, dusts.
She gets locked in her cubby.

Did my manman know? she wonders
Did she really know?

Image from subscription clipart service for Iowa schools.