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by Julie Austin, written 8/11/14

based on Psalm 137

a corporate prayer of lament on behalf of all trafficked victims and written from the perspective of a trafficked girl.

In the darkened brothel room we sat chained to our beds, remembering the safety of our homes.

Our dreams of the future, dreams of a college career, and a future family dashed in thin air.

For in this room, this house of horror, our pimps and johns demanded from us sex bringing wealth and status to them, fulfilling their dreams.

We cry out resisting with questions, how can I pretend to enjoy this when it’s bringing you and them happiness but pain and anguish to me?

I don’t want to forget what it’s like to be free and to hope again.

For to forget my home, my family, and my dreams like death. When being raped, beaten, and sold, may my memory bring escape, turning my thoughts to daydreams of a better place, my

God remember those who watched us each be taken away, those who stood by knowing we were not our own. Remember those who ignore us thinking we’re prostitutes, criminals, due punishment in prison.

Oh crime ring, you will be judged and punished. Lucky are the ones who get the privilege of catching you, reporting you to the police, cuffing you and sentencing you to life in prison.

Lucky is the one who takes away your dream, destroying it forever.

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