Stage set up as at end of play #38 – water on floor, bath-tub full of ducks and lemons.

MOTHER enters, from the Philippines.


MOTHER starts to pull ducks and lemons from bath, searching, sending them everywhere.

The search is slow at first, hopeful.

Increasingly frantic.

The last few things – slow, broken.


MOTHER holds the last rubber duck against her chest.

MOTHER kneels against the bath-tub.

MOTHER leans against the bath-tub.


A chorus of Filipina CLEANERS enter with mops, bags.

CLEANERS begin to mop up the water, collect the detritus.

MOTHER remains by the bath, in a deep sorrow of her own.


The CLEANERS questions emerge, sometimes shared, sometimes solitary, intervals of cleaning between them.



What is the law or principle

that determines who cleans up the mess of others?


What is the law

that governs the displacement of people?

Why is it that a state can make no build zones?


When can we go home?

What is home now if it isn’t a where?


Where is she?


What is the thing that keeps a heart from breaking?


How does a heart hold it all:

such sorrow at the sufferings

such rage at the government

such love for the people around?


How can it take the government so long to arrive?

How do you sleep, Aquino?


Where is he?


How many people fasting

would it take for the UN to do anything?

How many







will it take for the UN to do something?


What is the quota on tears?


Where are they?


Chorus of CLEANERS start to exit.

One tries to take the rubber duck from MOTHER, but she will not part with it.

CLEANER makes a gentle gesture towards her, leaves.

MOTHER stays by the bath-tub.