By Apolinario Villalobos
A diminutive girl, she is –
With a sweet smile and angelic face
Marianne struck me
When one day in a mall lounge
She walked in with confidence
Strode to the restroom
With a dust pan and a broom
While giving those in the lounge
A warm smile –
That brightened the room.
When I called her as she came out
She did not acknowledge
Instead, walked out of the lounge
But after an hour was back
This time throwing me a glance
And I think, it was done by chance.
So I beckoned to her
And as she approached me
She held her plastic- covered ID
Instead of speaking, she gestured
Pointing at her left ear and lips
She slightly shook her head,
Only then I knew –
Marianne is mute and deaf!
Marianne is a janitress of the mall
And for months, honestly worked
Earning precious pesos for a living
To support herself, parents and sibling.