A poem called “Shame”




News reports that I’m trafficked,
my heart denotes that it’s racketed.

Street owns me,
prostrates me,
bends me to knees,
for money that touches my hand, but never reaches my pocket.

Fettered and tethered in invisible chains,
puts me on display—but never seen.
That’s shame.

Mom hooked on crack and reefer,
allowed uncle to become my creeper.
In a haze she turned her gaze.

Wanted to be a teacher,
spent my nights daydreaming in books.
Now looking for a come up from the preacher,
reading street signs and the promise on the cigarette packs.

Easy prey, that’s what I was.
Not enough love at home to lift me up above,
the grip of a pimp.
That’s shame.

Need to escape.
Shooting up liquid heaven, can’t make the evade.
Crisscrossed wrist so scarred in lines,
my signs of dying to live.

I’m a commodity—an item, a purchase.
Change it!
No demand–no supply needed!

But, the Johns drive by.
Buy my time and my pain is your crime.
That’s shame.

I entered the above poem in the Library of Virginia’s Dark Side Writing Contest:  I did not win.  And I was OK with that, honestly the poem was a tad indecorous for library walls.  However, I felt the pulling, indignant urge to put it out there into the world nonetheless ( https://shermierayne.wordpress.com/2013/07/29/human-trafficking/ ).

There is now a People’s Choice Award vote, that is ongoing until October 5th for all of the prior contest entries.  So, if you have the time to browse through some fine poems and short fiction pieces, please have a look: http://www.virginiamemory.com/blogs/dark-side/2013/05/31/america-atlantic-ave-virginia-beach-oceanfront-2012/ !!!  Voting is super simple, and requires no login–merely a simple click.  My poem “Shame” is the seventh entry from the top(the photo icons seen in the right corner have entries posted as well).  However, please only vote for me if you’ve read other entries, but still liked my poem–no sympathy votes allowed.  😉

Human Trafficking…

I submitted the poem that I’ve recently been working on to the Library of Virginia’s “Dark Side” creative-writing contest. It’s titled “Shame” and is the seventh entry from the top. (Check it out!)

A few months back, my book club’s theme for the month was: human trafficking. Of course, I’d been hearing of trafficking in news more lately, as most people have, I’m sure. It’s the latest crusade among many celebrities. However, I didn’t fully appreciate the depths of those words, “Human Trafficking” and what it could mean until I read several books on the topic, and then pursued further information. I was bereaved at what I came to know.

This insidious beast, some call it slavery, snatches up the youth, either in a literal kidnapping or beguiling its victim into servitude. The use of humans for the benefit of others is truly not a new concept, but perhaps we have evolved enough as beings to recognize the audacity in allowing it to continue. Without a doubt, it will not be an easy battle. However, awareness is the beginning, and that is happening!

My poem represents only one facet of many faces of trafficking. I wanted to show that what appears to be volition in choice, could actually be the tragedy of circumstance, and ironically–lack of choices. And, ultimately without the malicious need for bodies, there would not be the profiting of the precious supply. The shame is in the circumstances, the failure of a parent’s protection and the society that looks the other way when the equally culpable “Johns” purchase a young soul.

“And thereon every child I met, who has been violated and abused I made sure the child understood that he/she is the one who is wronged and being a victim is not something one should be ashamed of.”
~Sunitha Krishnan http://sunithakrishnan.blogspot.com/

Below are the three books discussed during my book club that month. If pressed to choose one of the three to read, I’d recommend A Walk Across the Sun. It is fiction, threaded into a compelling, quick read that pulls you into the book and keeps you there, while exposing you to the various heartbreaking, real-life scenarios and aspects of trafficking.