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Diamonds in the Rough: Contrasting Love and Resentment

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Child Labour in The Congo

Diamonds in the Rough

The earth abounds with diamonds
But Melanie stands on her balcony
Gazing up at a cool spray of stars
Wondering why she can’t find a man
To slip one on her finger.

Under the sun’s supreme heat
Like ten million galaxies away…
In the village of Kimabue –

13-year-old Kendi
50 feet below hauls away
Layers of dust and rock
Exposing ancient sediments
Where the crystals lay.

Under his breath
The impromptu venomous tongue
Of a new type of slave susurrates
Indignities falling on deaf ears:

Think I care for your democracy,
Capitalism, or socialism?
It’s all hypocrisy.

Think I care for your Christianity,
Same-sex marriage, or equality?
I’m sifting ancient sediment

And my spirit in revulsion,
My people still forced to bear
This cotton field compulsion.

Labour-intensive –
Sweat cascading from his brows.
Like ten million galaxies away…

Under a cool spray of stars
Melanie lifts a large glass of rosé,
Eyes her finger and beckons Cupid
Propel her way a man of dreams.

After two or so more glasses,
One by one, the stars go out.

Another Poem by Skendong: Stop The Boats! Stop The Boats!

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