May Day— A Phone Call with My Dad

Today is May Day

I said to my father via phone call

“What is May Day?” he asked

It’s a day off for workers dad

It’s a day off for you as a worker,

I replied. He laughed.

“What? Really? Oh dear, you must be kidding me

when could a worker have a day off in his life?

Perhaps when he is getting sick or about to die.

Workers meant to work everyday to earn income

and to sustain his life

Just look at me my dear

Since I was a teenager I had learnt to be a worker for a lifetime

learning one skill to another skill and grow with it

from being a farmer in your grandparent’s rice-field

then a young military boy for gun-keeping task during 1970s of our country’s resistance

learning to become an electrician, a builder, a repairman, a servant

then learning to become a tailor.

Today I am a tailor while at the same owning a small clothing business

with the profits only enough to afford your education

and a bag of rice for everyday meal.

But you know what I love tailoring the most my dear

I love how my hands cooperates with the sewing machine

and turns the textile to a school uniforms

isn’t that a magic, my dear?

As I sell that magic for $10 to $20 US Dollars each

people keep coming ordering the magic I create

they said they loved it so much when they wear it

and now I have so many orders stuffed on the table at my tailoring shop dear

how could I take the day off my dear?

I am not a fancy office employee like you my dear,”

I sighed, dad is laughing.

But dad, please, do take a day off

you deserve it you know, I insisted

“Alright darling, but after I finished the orders”,

my dad replied and the phone call ended.

Today is May Day

is it really a day off?

Dili, May 1, 2020.