Document 19: Poem

"Untitled" poem by Trinidad Rojo, from Alaskeros: A Documentary Exhibit on Pioneer Filipino Cannery Workers, 1988
(exhibit interview tape BB-118 transcribed by Bing Ardanas). Museum of History and Industry, Seattle.

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suffering without end
we sustain in Alaska
salmon and blubber every day
because the Chinese contractor is a miser
we lay down under a pile of blankets
and we sleep curling and still it is cold
and when 5 o'clock rings
we rise groggily, for we could hardly move our legs
we are still chewing our breakfast
the bugle sound furious and fast
and we rush to the cannery pronto
and we work as hard as a water buffalo
I go to the restroom often to while away the time
why, oh why
did I come to the Land of the Midnight Sun
I used to dress and eat well in my beloved Philippines
without working, without sweating

Center for the Study of the Pacific Northwest