A Poem: “Shame”

streetsign

 

 

 

SHAME 

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

Street owns me, prostrates.
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. Never to be seen.
That’s shame.

Wanted to be a teacher,
daydreamed my nights in books.
Now waits for a sandwich from the preacher,
while reading street signs
and the promise on cig’ packs.

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

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

Need to escape.
Shooting up liquid heaven,
can’t make the evade.
Arms marked in lines;
My scars 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.

 

 

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Human Trafficking

A few months back, my book club’s theme for the month was Human Trafficking. I’d been hearing more of trafficking in the news lately, as most people have. 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 on a microscopic level, until I read several books on the topic. I’m bereft at what I’ve come to know.

This insidious beast, some call it slavery, snatches up the youth, either in a literal kidnapping or beguiling its victims into servitude. The use of humans for the benefit of others is not a new concept. Perhaps, I’m overwhelmed that we as a society, have yet to evolve enough as beings to recognize the audacity in allowing slavery, in any form, to continue. Without a doubt, this will not be an easy battle. However, awareness is the beginning, and that is happening!

I wrote a poem, “Shame.” It represents only one facet of trafficking; for it hides many faces. In my poem/story, I wanted to show that what appears to be a choice, could actually be the tragedy of circumstance, and ironically—lack of choices. And, ultimately, the message is: without the malicious need for bodies, there would not be profiting made from the supply of human beings. The shame is in the circumstances, the failure of protection, and the eye of society that looks the other way when 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 book club that month. If pressed to choose one of the three to read, I’d recommend A Walk Across the Sun by Corban Addison. It is fiction, threaded into a compelling, quick read that pulls you into the story and keeps you there, while exposing the various heartbreaking, real-life scenarios and aspects of trafficking. Please learn more, and be aware!

walksunRAgirlsold

https://www.dhs.gov/topic/human-trafficking

https://humantraffickinghotline.org/

https://www.unodc.org/unodc/human-trafficking/

https://polarisproject.org/

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/taking-a-photo-of-your-hotel-room-could-help-save-a-trafficking-victims-life_us_57714091e4b0f168323a1ed7