The ding of the register when you
score the latest bargain?
Denim and dresses?
Prints and plaids?
Trends and fads?
You like the thousands working in the unsafe conditions of
poorly paid factory jobs?
They make your denim and your dresses.
Your prints and your plaids,
All the while wishing
for the opportunities that they never had.
You like fashion?
About the Author
This poem was written by Nicole McFadden. Nicole enjoys reading, writing and spending time with friends.
The relentless, interrogative tone of this poem makes its important statement impossible to ignore. The poet’s use of this technique is very clever and skillful – sometimes when we read statements about injustices it can feel like a lecture and be somewhat easy to dismiss, but questions force us to look at ourselves and our actions. The poem begins with innocuous-sounding questions that might form part of a casual conversation, lulling the reader before sharply changing direction at a point where the reader is invested and must finish the poem and think about the issues raised. The technique reminds me of the Smithsonian museum of Native American Culture in Washington DC, where the visitor is led through a circular, mazelike structure involving, firstly, very welcoming exhibits about cultural practices, before room after room of stark, uncompromising displays of the betrayal and genocide of the Native American population by white settlers. It’s important to keep questioning and to keep asking questions of people in positions of power or privilege, especially for writers.