At The Wet Market

It is seven and early in the morning:

The bustling Sunday wet market is filled with people –
Grannies buying chilli to be cooked with bean sprout for the family,
Mothers buying fruits for the health of their delicate young ones,
Father and son out getting groceries for a vegetarian lunch;

There in the vegetable store stands the usual vegetable men
In their singlets and Hokkien slangs they shout prices and promote their greens
Where housewives and maids haggle for an extra broccoli or tomato
While the market grows busier and noiser as the morning passes by the minute;

There amongst the crowd works a young girl – no more than seventeen:
She is working up a sweat selling vegetables and collecting money
Where her hands smell of coins and a mixture of different roots and greens
Not exceptionally experienced she appears but enough to be of help;

Possibly a family business it is for her and a good vacation experience
Helping out at the vegetable store in the wet market –
Something which most teenagers these days do not get to go through
And who likely are not willing to dirty their hands or work up a sweat;

To tolerate the smell of all the different meats and vegetables in the wet market,
To learn to appreciate the redolence created by a variety of produce is
In itself a process not many are willing to go through or to adopt for a living
Even if it brings a reasonable income – contentment can be of question;

it is nonetheless a good experience and a profession as any other
Though not necessarily one that is suitable for every other;

It is seven and early in the morning
At the wet market.

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