Most of the “normal” population never knowingly come into contact with a prostitute. As a cop, I met many, and once we got past the cop/law-breaker thing, they were universally warm, gentle people. Although this poem has to do with the street-walker, virtually all of them, at any level of the trade, had two things in common: a drug habit and a child (or children) who they love more than life itself. Their job is one of the most dangerous in the world, but they consider their real world the small apartment they share with that child.

by Mike Patrick

Flickr image by Rusty Productions

In the freezing rain she walks about
With streaked makeup and soaked hair.
A tiny sweater and mini skirt display her charms
But know nothing of warmth.

Stiletto heels shape the legs, but hurt the feet.
Another day at the office in her frightening world,
But work she must, for she feeds two.
A little boy waits at home
For the meal this night must buy.
And her arm awaits the fix that dulls the pain
. . . enough to face tomorrow.

This isn’t how it was supposed to be.
Dreams of fame were once so clean.
Family and friends praised her voice.
The world stopped as she sang.

Fourteen hundred miles she moved
To seek an occupation that rejected her
And the love that abandoned her.
But she works this night
For the only warm glow in her life.
A little boy waits at home.

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8 Responses to PROSTITUTE

  1. vivinfrance says:

    This thought-provoking poem has moved me enormously. Bravo for raising the issue.

  2. otterblossom says:

    thank you for a poem that gets past the cop/law-breaker thing, and shows those who never see that world the human at the center

  3. What a sad existence for both mother and child. It must be very hard to see that all the time. Great poem.

  4. Cheryl says:

    Very true,like the old saying,”a lot of my best friends were ‘working ladies’.People getting by the best way they know how.

    this is my poem to them.

    • Mike Patrick says:

      Cheryl, you poem is oh, so very well done. It touches on the pimp’s abuse, which I left out. I suspect that you have worked with the “shadow girls” in your ministry. Perhaps poetry is the only public place these girls are treated with respect. God bless.

  5. Dishilicious says:

    so real. the sad truth. nicely written. thanks

  6. Tilly Bud says:

    How nice to see someone treat these poor women with some respect. The best quote I ever heard on prostitution came from ‘The West Wing’: Amy Gardener said,’No little girl grows up thinking “I want to be a prostitute”.’ It’s not a career choice, is it?

    I like your poem.

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