Woman from the Slum

a poem by Siddharth Sanyal

Early morn she rings the bell
Wakes me from my sleep
Greets me with folded hands
It makes me want to weep

Leaves her slippers outside the door
She smiles her daily smile
I wish she just wouldn’t show up
Allowing me to sleep a while

She starts her daily household chores
By heading for the sink
Bangs the pots and pans around
Perhaps cleaning them, I think

Sweeping first with an old broom
She then starts to swab the floor
And all the while I am just wishing
That I could sleep some more

She goes about dusting the place
Putting away my dirty clothes
Doing all those menial jobs
All those tasks that one loathes

All this while I laze around
In my pillow bury my head
And though I wish she wasn’t here
That she may not come, I dread

She makes life much easier for me
Though her very presence I ignore
For my kind would forever find
Housework a menial chore

God knows if she gets enough sleep
Enough food or even if she has a roof
Because she’s my maidservant
I must always remain aloof

Her tasks done she leaves my flat
With yet another cheery smile
Though what she has to smile about
To figure out would take a while

At month’s end I give her what’s due
Which in fact, is a paltry sum
For all the work she does for me
This woman from the slum