I am owned
by silence
possessed by others
slavery denied
in the highest places.
—Larry Jaffe, 2010

New stock has arrived

She must pretend before them
To be one of the girls
In her heart she knows
Shortly they each will become her
After being broke in
Sold to the highest bidder
Over and over in a day
She only wonder
The ones that were such as her
Answering an ad
There were old enough to be on their own
Wanting the world
She only thinks now
The picture to come for them
Victims each of them of human trafficking
Sex slaves who live in fear
If they fail their duties
They will be beaten
Till they give in
Forced to take drugs
Till addicted
Except for the clothes on their backs
Each night they sleep together
Sick and tired
Inside of the Pimps den
Some live
Some die
Seldom do they ever escape
Those that do
Never forget
Never feel free
Never feel human
Being a survivor of bondage
—Debra Faulconer Baker, 2007

And to the Little Ones

Swiped from her village
sold for a dime by poor parents
to a rich global market
Taka’s 10-year-old bones rattle with fear.
bound to earth – chained.
Beaten down to size in small back rooms
Spirit broken by westerners who promise the world
and leave her a lump of mud.
No breath…
No breath…
Can’t breathe in this tomb.
Taka’s humanity
her dignity
her soul
is battered and bartered
on the black market for a dime.
And pundits predict her body will be found
in a ditch in an alley
some – day.
Vacant eyes wander her neighborhood
She is “Sold!” for a dime bag
by her crack head momma
to suits and briefcases with Jersey plates
Takisha’s 10-year-old bones rattle with fear.
from school
and dreams
and friends.
Her lifeless body puts food on the table
She eats the devil’s dinner
And her humanity
her dignity
her soul
No breath…
No breath…
Can’t breathe in this toxic corner of the world.
And pundits predict Takisha’s vacant body will be found in an ally or a trash can
before her 18th birthday.
And thus says the Lord,
“Come from the four winds, o breath!
And breathe upon the slain!
That they may live!”
That they may live!
That they may run and play and lay in the streets and look up at the stars
That they may dream of romance and significance and peace for their families
and their people.
That they may breathe and stand and live…
And to Taka and Takisha
to their rattling bones
to the little ones
who bear God’s image
The Lord God says,
—Lisa Sharon Harper, 2009

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