Tuesday, April 5, 2011


Poverty defined

Three girls encased in cement.
Living in the walls behind
The oblong mirror in the hallway
White wall dust the only clue of the Secret 
Door that opens at each quarter 
Bing, on the hour Bong. 

The girls take turns—first
The Vietnamese beauty. Her black
Hair falls piece by piece out
Of the hole in the wall, her dress
Torn under the arms and at the neck.
She thrusts one hand out, it shakes in
The light, pale as bleached flour.

The pimp pulls, she rolls and
Tumbles in the white dust. White on
Black, white on white. She welcomes
The pull, welcomes her sold flesh
Rubbing against the pedophiles
And the nymphomaniacs with rotting
Breath and no teeth. Sex better than
The hole. Her muscles burn, good they
Still work. Her blurry eyes tell her
She hasn’t gone blind yet. Fifteen
Minutes of light—her only gift. Raped
10 or 20 times a day and even This begins
To seem normal.

I wrote this poem a few years ago, when I first heard of sex trafficking. I was so horrified, I could not get the idea of it all out of my mind. Ironically, this was written on the back of a piece of paper at church. I dedicate it, in all its imperfections, to the 27 million* victims of human trafficking forced to live as slaves in the world today. Hopefully, is some small way, it will give a voice to the voiceless.

*This is an estimate. As you will find if you do any research on trafficking, getting accurate numbers is difficult. This is, after all, an invisible crime. Experts put the range from 24-32 million slaves. 27 million is the number cited by sociologist Kevin Bales in his book “Disposable People: New Slavery in the Global Economy.”


Elisabeth Edmonston Clark said...

This is unbelievably well-written. It's so intense, so painful to read, so arresting. It makes me feel sick to my stomach - which is the only appropriate reaction - if we are facing the truth of this horrible crime against humanity.

Mauricio A. Molina said...

While reading your poem, I can't leave your blog without a post. It will be impossible to stop all the human trafficking in this world, but we can increase awareness about this horrid evil. If one soul is saved, that will be a joyful new. Now, I believe that adoption is another way to rescue many little souls from these horrors. Lets work to become able of rescuing many little ones.

Nadine Hays said...

We need to do more than create an awareness. Come on, girls, we can do more than that. We have got to make it stop. If the men won't, we will. People need to dedicate some of their own personal time... work with the families of missing children... don't count on the law enforcement to always help (many times they are involved in the corruption). If you can find the movement of money, you can find the king pin. It does not take a college education to do this. I urge everyone to try it. If you have not seen the movie "Taken", it is a must. Her father found her; with the Lord's help we too can find and put away the evil ones. God's way is not talk...it is action. If you want to know a very interesting person, his name is Ted Gunderson. Google him and read the Wikipedia article. He was the chief of the Los Angeles FBI unit. I met him. He has documented proof of the corruption that is going on. Caring for the abused is good, but finding the abuser is even better.