Among the jars of pickles and crispy banana chips, he packed a bit of his communism.
He boarded the flight, the first in his life
Yet this was so familiar
He was going to the Gulf.
He found his countrymen discussing over tea
Be afraid of the Arab, and you’ll be fine.
But if you hear the familiar ring of your native tongue
You’ll know you have met a comrade.
This was not a job under the merciless sun
He was at a desk, all thanks to an Arab’s grace.
He boasted when he showed his wife her new home
Brothers, cousins, and eventually his kids found similar desks.
A few years in, he found better desks being made
They were for comrades who were better paid.
He found their chips too salty
Their certificates, well, just too much.
He showed them he bowed only to the Arab
He would open their doors without a knock.
He told his wife, he came here first
He knew more, isn’t that but natural?
They went into meetings where he took notes
They decided on a new policy, he said he should have been consulted.
They looked at him in wonder and smiled
As they went out for coffee, he made changes of his own.
The new ones think they are above me, he told his wife
They speak in English even when they know our tongue.
Their lunch boxes carry the same food as mine
They even use the same coconut oil on their head.
Tomorrow he will speak to the Arab
A few certificates cannot replace his wisdom.
Before he forgets, he notes down a few of their lapses
Allegiance, comrades! Allegiance!