Literary Zone

Poetry: Night Shift Workers

20 August 2005 at 19:56 | 1479 views

’Nightshift Workers’ is a meditation on the travails of members of the world’s oldest profession.At the best of times, this is a profession that entails a lot of physical and emotional suffering.This is particularly poignant in a deprived and traumatised continent like Africa where the poet lives.

By Ernest Cole

At the onset of twilight
she wakes,
the pain all over her body
reminds her of the agony
of night duty.
From the bathroom
she emerges,
the tell-tale signs
of her profession.
In front of the mirror
she sits,
perfumes and cosmetics
competing for a place
in various parts of her body.
She bends, she twists, she preens
as she prepares to labour
under the crushing weight
of men determined to extract value
from the rhythms their money could buy.

Photo: Ernest Cole: lamenting the plight of the sisters.

Credit: Sierra Leone Web

Ernest Cole is a Lecturer at the University of The Gambia where he teaches English. He is also a journalist, and currently runs the Literary Column of The Gambia’s "Daily Observer" based in Banjul, the capital.

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