Falun Gong practitioner Charles Lee holds slipper he made in a Chinese labor camp‘Made in China’ by Fr. Richard Libby The Society February 28, 2018 Culture, Deconstructing Communism, Human Rights in China, Poetry 8 Comments The toys we buy at Christmastime (The decorations, too), Don’t come from elves in Santa’s shop, As we’ve been told they do. The “Made in China” label can Be found upon these wares, And points to one of modern man’s Most scandalous affairs. They’re made by Chinese workers in Conditions most unjust, Who work for fourteen hours a day, Or longer, if they must. They work for seven days a week And breaks are pretty rare; They breathe in noxious fumes that fill The hot and stifling air. They live right in the factory In small and filthy rooms, Where they get just a few hours’ sleep Before their work resumes. The workers’ pay is woefully Below the living wage. How is it that we let this be In our “enlightened” age? The goods are cheap and plentiful, But buyers may not know What Chinese workers must endure To keep the prices low. It isn’t elves who make the toys; The truth is not so nice. Convenience and economy Come at a heavy price. Father Richard Libby is a priest of the Diocese of Corpus Christi. NOTE: The Society considers this page, where your poetry resides, to be your residence as well, where you may invite family, friends, and others to visit. Feel free to treat this page as your home and remove anyone here who disrespects you. Simply send an email to email@example.com. Put “Remove Comment” in the subject line and list which comments you would like removed. The Society does not endorse any views expressed in individual poems or comments and reserves the right to remove any comments to maintain the decorum of this website and the integrity of the Society. Please see our Comments Policy here. Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pinterest (Opens in new window) 8 Responses Joe Tessitore February 28, 2018 Powerful and thought-provoking, Father. Very well-written. I thought I was in for something like a nursery rhyme! Reply Steven Shaffer February 28, 2018 Well done and with an excellent point as well. Not in any way to make light of the situation, I have always liked this video which makes pretty much the same point: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pKv6RcXa2UI Reply Joseph Charles MacKenzie February 28, 2018 This is really a fine example of finding exactly the right form as a vehicle for the message, showing that it is indeed possible to attain a kind of perfection in our art. Personally speaking, this poem has inspired me to pray for the conversion of China. Reply David Paul Behrens February 28, 2018 We are lucky we live in a democratic society which was able to enact labor laws. Whereas in China, ruled by a communist dictatorship, they have no such laws. We should count our blessings. Good poem, Father. Reply David Watt March 1, 2018 An excellent poem which brings into focus a truth many choose to overlook. Reply Amy Foreman March 1, 2018 Sobering and well-written. Reply Wendy Bourke March 21, 2018 This is very impactful … and very sad. I try to purchase ethically, but really, labels are no guarantee that an item has been produced without atrocities tied to the price tag. This is a well rendered, thoughtful and edifying poem … an important piece. Reply Ted Villalon July 29, 2020 Not bad for a Texas boy! Reply Leave a Reply Cancel ReplyYour email address will not be published.CommentName* Email* Website Notify me of follow-up comments by email. Notify me of new posts by email. This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.