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"...They bend or they're broken,
     Serving the whims of men.
     Giving up all their hopes,
     They've come to childhood's end."

                  (An excerpt from POISON PEARLS...)

Slave Girls                                                            

   Slave Girls

Walking a public street,
Taking home some "fresh meat,"
Your slave just turned sixteen
And you wanted a treat.

Something younger... thirteen?
She's broken, but she's free
Of sexual contagion.
You don't mind being seen

It's accepted in this region
Where slavers are legion
And they will buy them back
if in good condition.

But you won't give them back...
They are good in the sack
And they've already learned
It's no good to talk back.

They've watched women get burned,
Thrown in the street and spurned
For disobedience
And the lesson is stern.

So they'll pledge allegiance,
Afraid to take a chance
Of incurring your wrath
As they assume the stance

They're lovely to look at,
Fresh from taking their bath,
But they are still children
Who don't deserve your wrath.

They pretend they're women,
But they're only children,
Babies making babies,
Playthings for wicked men.

Sexy enough to tease
Men who they're bound to please
(Literally - with ropes!)
And will ignore their pleas.

These men will dash their hopes
As they happily grope
Children playing women.
It does no good to mope.

They bend or they're broken,
Serving the whims of men.
Giving up all their hopes,
They've come to childhood's end.

 This  poem is titled BOSNIA in Poison Pearls and it was inspired by a public radio broadcast about slavery as it existed in Bosnia at the time.  In the few years that have intervened since then, I certainly hope that conditions have improved there.
However, this poem is more about people than places, so I have retitled it and I feel that even though these conditions might have improved there, they are doubtless ongoing in other countries and this poem will ring true for them as well.