Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: MIX (10/22/15)
TITLE: Lost Innocence
By Bonnie Bowden
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Never to be returned,
A mix of lies and traps,
Set into motion
Abruptly, like death,
The truth flashed upon her;
She no longer had a name.
Slept over at a friend’s house,
Some concoction put into her soda,
Sleeping Beauty finally awoke
In a bed, alone and naked,
Enslaved beneath a man’s bondage
Like a thousand knives, hot pain,
Seared through her, ripping and tearing flesh.
Sex, smoke, and sweat filled the air,
A different combination of men --
Tall, short, fat, thin, old, young --
Took turns using her, to work off the debt,
Years as a sex slave ended,
As she slipped through the night,
And called a local safe house.
The ritual bath was symbolic,
Fusion of a new beginning and God’s rebirth
Warm water soothed and cleansed her,
Dark memories slowly rose to the top,
And drained back down with the dirty water
Sometimes to return, but without power,
The trauma no longer held her hostage.
I wrote this poem to bring awareness to the growing problem of human trafficking in the United States and around the world. Here are just a few of the facts:
• A $32 billion-a-year industry, human trafficking is on the rise in all 50 states (U.S. Government).
• At least 20 .9 million adults and children are bought and sold worldwide into commercial sexual servitude, forced labor, and bonded labor (International Labour Organization, 2012, p. 13).
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