Their eyes. Seen through a lot of things – more vividly when closed.
From villages where they would eat through garbage on the streets.
To now – being asked to go out by their wealthier friend to eat, but trying to find excuses. Running out.
The reality is what’s left of the fast food they served, is now dinner today. Plus whatever was on sale at Superstore – you know those ones with the special stickers.
They were sitting on the bus, eating traditional breaky at the back.
By the way people were looking at them, this would be the 60’s, they’d be black.
They would eat on a table if they had one in their room.
Man starting to look at them like they an animal from a zoo.
As they ate each bite, you can tell his anger grew.
Clutching a book by Peterson in one hand, the other reading the Op-Eds as if they were news. Holding these ancient views as if they it was shone light on an unwanted Son.
Under his white gaze, it was as if Slumdog Millionaire had come back on first run.
They goes into class late, cause the bus was running slow.
Like they usually do, they sit sit at back, trying to lay low.
Instructor talks about that ‘assimilation’ is what newcomers need to know.
Makes an offhand remark – you ain’t come here to play in snow.
They think: “Hell if it was snowing, they wouldn’t have proper shoes to wear.”
The last time at the store, they checked, nobody seem to care.
Looked at them as if they should have went next door to Payless shoes
It’s true, they barely had enough to pay their tuition dues.
Even at the temple, barefoot, they all looked as if they knew.
They were here with no mother, father, no ties – nothing to lose?
But they were slowly losing their mind, paying that cultural fine, struggling with differences across space and time, realizing this immigrant life is a grind.
Agent back there said in a ‘few years’ they’d be fine.
Turns out both him and their homestay were together on the lie.
Yet they still put on a brave smile, serving up them subs.
Have these blazed guys gaze them like they been sent to give them rubs.
They had an MBA and three years working in IT.
Nobody in the world seems to care who they might be.
Yet, they spend their weekends giving back through service and their volunteer.
They spend their nights talking to mom and dad who be in fear.
During the days they struggle thinking about a potential career.
They closes their door, regrets being a poor, thinks about that man who called them a coloured whore.
As they were trying to buy a snack, they got asked if they worked at the store.
Asked by a customer if they could help, a kid spilled, please sweep the floor.
They start thinking about that childhood – even through trash they at least had friends.
Whats the use of all this hustle – if no means also know no ends.
“Don’t worry – learn some English, in a minute you will blend.”
“Just learn to order a proper Canadiana next time you at Blenz.”
“Go back home to your country.” comes a booming voice from a Blue Benz.
They had accidentally jaywalked in their thoughts of things to mend.
Ties, Lies, Tries, Trial, Tribulations, Loser, Lost. Triggered. Time and Time Again. Determined. Do it. Don’t. Disintegrate. Dream. Dream. Dream.
The alarm clock rings. They are late for school again. Hopefully today is going to be different.