Marie Mason Poem for Nicaraguan Workers

Sugar cane workers are subjected to hazardous conditions in the Isle of Windows.Marie wrote this poem after hearing a story about workers becoming ill in Nicaragua from working on  rubber tree and sugar cane plantations.

The Isle of Widows, Nicaragua
The heat rises, steam
Moves
With the breath of trees,
Into the air
Haunted eyes speak
Their questions of a mystery
The men of science come to study
This embarassing plague
This withering away
That leaves the widows wondering.
What is the science of oppression?
Dr. Mengele knew,
Lurching through the labs
Of a past that keeps repeating.
One watches without compassion.
One takes notes.
Hypothesis:
Can we demonstrate that decades
Of muscles, tortured and stretched taut,
Dessicated and starved,
Both trees and men
Carved
To pull the juices out
That make the wheels
That run the Machine –
That this is what makes husks of men?
Hypothesis:
The delicate dust, pot-pouri
This chemistry
That drapes the trees
A veil for the bride of industry –
Is it reliable to say
That this is why the kidneys
Fail?
How can we conceivably equivocate?
Data must be reproducable
After all,
We are concerned with methodology
Not murder.
But by measurement,
We engage and change
The very thing we measure.
Heisenberg knew everything.
The possibilities of multiple hypotheses
Obfuscates the issue
Like a miasma rising from the
Fermenting swamp
Of colonial relationships.
Old at nineteen
The bones pushing the envelope
Of brown skin
Internally imploding
One the Isle of Widows
One boy wants to know why he is dying.
So they take his blood,
Then shrug
And send him home to die.