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Tuesday, November 08, 2011


by Shirani Rajapakse

The sweat streams
Down her cheeks
And loses itself
In her
Blouse. There’s time
Yet for her to
Leave. The clock ticks
On. Her eyes
Hurt. Her hands
Feel numb. Is this
Life? She
Has no choice.
Its her day.
Darkness all around,
Sweating it out for
A morsel of
Food for her
Family waiting
Patiently for her
Her fingers ache.
The machine
Throbs in her
Head. She lifts
Her hand to wipe
Off the sweat.
Wall Street’s
Occupied, drones
The newsreader.
She looks up but
Doesn’t understand.
Then back to
The machine.

Shirani Rajapakse is a poet, playwright and fiction writer of Sri Lankan origin who spends her time writing stories and weaving verses out of fragments of dreams and left-over sentences. Breaking News, her debut collection of short stories published in April 2011 by Vijitha Yapa Publishers, Sri Lanka, was shortlisted for the Gratiaen Award 2010. Shirani has a BA in English Literature from the University of Kelaniya, Sri Lanka, and a MA in International Relations from the Jawaharlal Nehru University, India. She worked at the Sunday Times and Daily Mirror, Sri Lanka and in international organizations including the World Bank and Commonwealth Secretariat.