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
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.