Loaves And Fishnets

Hey everyone On day 20 of NaPoWriMo my theme is working women. This is not the first time i have felt moved to write a poem on this topic nor i suspect will it be the last. As a trans-woman i know that women and girls who undertake this line of work will be stereotyped and labelled and have all sorts of value judgments made about them by a society which knows of their profession but is not doing enough to get women out of it. No doubt people will say oh she’s doing it for drug money and maybe some women may have addiction issues. There will however be others who are selling the bodies to pay the bills or finance the costs of their college courses or university degrees.

On this occasion it is those women who are the topic of this poem. I have titled Loaves And Fishnets to illustrate that whilst Jesus may have fed the five thousand with loaves and fishes in biblical times, in today’s Britain there many people struggling to feed themselves. I hope you find it a challenging and thought provoking read.

Loaves And Fishnets

She doesn’t do it for the drugs
not for cannabis, heroine, or cocaine.
She needs her brain to use for a degree
she can’t afford to finance.
She does it to pay her debts and her landlord.
Private renting means never ending bills
which seemed to get higher and higher
till her hem line did the same.
This is not a game she wants to play.
in this evening kick off there are no winners.
Let he or she, without sin,
cast the first stone.
none can, though plenty want to throw.
Mud, accusations, slander,
Call a girl they’ve never met and will never know,
every name under the sun.
I ask them, how they would like it
if their daughter was treated like scum
because she went the same place every night
got her tights laddered and ripped
decided she  may as well wear fishnets
and earn just enough to buy a loaf.

@ Gayle Smith 2015

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