1/Prostitute/Mother by Mike Patrick
In the freezing rain she walks about
With makeup streaked and hair soaked.
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 the next night here.
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.
2/ A MALAYA by Tumwesgye Julius Ford
Yes. She is a night woman
Who cares whether what she does is evil or illegal,
As long as she brings food to the table
And has made her a life many would envy.
Yes; she is a night woman
Yes, I will say it, she is a prostitute;
A Malaya as many here prefer to call her
A word that would send lots of you stammering.
She is my mother; yes she bred me.
She says my father was or is a policeman.
And she does not know where he is now.
And nor does my father know of my existence
And where I am, who I am and how I am.
Yes, my father is a policeman.
My mother stresses it every time, she says it.
She says I was a result of a sentence;
A sentence she served to the policeman to get her freedom back.
The policeman; my father, who arrested her for
As she says he said “breaking the law.
Don’t you know prostitution is illegal in Uganda?
You prostitutes spread
Sexually Transmitted Diseases and are evil makers
In our society”
Yes all that was true and happening
My mother told me, she was thus charged
For breaking the law and committing a crime.
The policeman was the prosecutor, the Judge
In the “High Court” of some bed which she called
“The Buganda Bed Court”
There was no defence on her side.
She was charged and found to be guilty.
The sentence she had to serve was;
One night and all its twelve hours
In the Luzira bed prison at a certain Lodge,
After that she would be a free woman again.
She had got her freedom back and
Was on the Parliament Avenue Street again.
Her freedom came with bad news as she called it.
She lost her periods. At least there was no
The law and order man to tell.
She was thus saved the “Go and find them” response
She could not abort as she had done on
Many several other occasions before
Whenever she missed her monthlies;
Whenever she was forced to have live sex
By the unkind night men.
After nine months of toil and no work
Without a father to care for my mother,
Few or no meals at her table
Distress and disillusionment and many curses
On the law and order man.
The man who had indeed kept
Law and order by keeping her off the streets
For a period of some months with a bulky belly,
The day finally came;
And I was lucky to have been born
Born on some cold night in December
I was a bouncing baby boy as
My mother’s friend called me when I was earthed down.
Born to suffer and toil like humans do.
Life took its course, grow up I did,
To hear all the harsh life stories, this earth provides,
Provides to the unfortunate, poor and marginalized
My mother is beautiful and really gorgeous
I can see it and confirm it.
Her beauty as she says is the only
Asset that the creator and her parents,
Gave her to use for survival.
It’s her only education and career maker.
She did not get an Education.
Her parents said it was an expensive thing
And could not afford such a thing
To all their twelve children;
Seven girls and five boys.
But at least they could afford part
Of that thing for the boys.
They sold off all the small land
They had to have the boys partly educated.
For the girls, they chose a cheaper way;
And trained them on how to become good wives.
My mother did not become a wife,
Instead she took her asset to the city
A city she hoped was full of hope and brighter dreams.
Dreams for a better and happy future.
Alas! Other dreams awaited her
False hope and dreams. Yes false hopes and dreams.
She could not find a decent job,
But at least she found a friend.
The friend introduced her to what
She called a way of survival and living.
She had to survive, my mother had to survive.
Her future offices would be located on
The city corners and on its streets.
She would be working night shifts.
To quench the thirst of night men.
Yes she was now it, what she had
Heard of in her small village, she was now
A Malaya, Malaya of the city men.
A Malaya in the city, a daughter and sister in her village.
She could now sustain her life and live comfortably
She earned decent money and was now well.
She enjoyed what some people would envy.
She knew all about town,
She knows all the best drinking places in town.
She is still beautiful and still a night woman.
Everyday she sleeps during the day and
Goes to office at night.
I go to school thanks to her and
Comeback to see her off into the night.
She goes to the cold and harsh night,
She is harassed by policemen, drunkards
She however does toil on and every night
Is different from the other.
She is happy on some nights because of enough profits
And others, she is unhappy because of no customers.
Just like any other business.
Her kind of business is more risky.
She has to fight off Rapists and molesters.
She also has the law and order men on her back.
She is sometimes taken to prison for
Being idle and disorderly. Imagine, a person
With her office and a job charged with idle
And disorderly. What a confusion!
Anyway, I have to get her out of prison.
And I do get her out.
Her business attracts no taxes
What a relief. Taxes as V.A.T, Pay As You Earn,
N.S.S.F. Therefore she has her income intact.
Unlike other people who have about 40% of their
Income chopped off in the name of taxes.
I have learnt to accept her and
Just like a lame man with a lame leg
She also lives with her life and I live with hers too.
She is my mother; she earthed me and gave me life,
As a night woman and am what am
Because of what she does and her acceptance.
I am also handsome thanks to her beauty
And maybe the law and order man.
I live a good life she has nurtured.
She always provides and is supportive
She has not only trained me to be a good husband,
She also needs me to have an education and a career.
I have attained a thing she did not; Good education.
I am an Economist in making.
She does ask me;
Why we the educated can’t solve the
Problems that force women like her on the streets.
She is right and deserves an answer
Though I can’t give it to her,
It must be somewhere and
Someone must be ready to answer.
Maybe it’s because of bad governance,
I sometimes tell her, maybe corruption,
Schools are not well equipped to offer
Education to both boys and girls.
Maybe, money for our good education is
Embezzled by the so called Leaders
Maybe the parents are not empowered to be self reliant enough
To take their children to school.
Maybe the income on their produce is low.
Surely it can’t be that they are lazy!
They are farmers, but their produce returns
Little or nothing for them and their big families.
My mother is aging and she has to retire.
I laugh out loud Ha Ha Ha Ha, when she tells me
“My son, I hope I will get my pension soon”
Pension! Ha Ha Ha, Pension when your
Office is on the street. Pension when the real
Pension earners can’t get it? Ha Ha Ha.
I laugh out loud, not because it’s funny,
But because, her kind of job needs no Pension.
Her only Pension is me; her son.
The son, she has helped to get that thing to look after her.
Am her only Pension and Security Fund.
She is ill at the moment and in bed
She is from her fourth hospital
She has a disease; a strange one!
I swear it’s strange!
It’s AIDS caused by HIV
Yes she is Positive.
What would you expect of her?
After all those years under Men’s crotches.
She is slipping quietly away from life and the earth.
She is contented of her life
She does not regret it.
She lived that way to save what would be hers.
Am hers and only hers.
She only hopes I live a better one.
Yes a better one, I only hope I do.
She is contented to have me as her hope
For a better life and more lives in
Her motherland, her village and lineage.
Am waiting for the hour when
She will rejoin the Angels and Saints.
I pray that the Angels will receive her.
Why not? She should be given a hero’s welcome.
She gave her life. So that the future of
Her children and children’s children
Is bright and full of hope.
What would you say? Yes or No?
Is there a better Saint?
After that day I will walk away.
With everything she lived for in my mind.
Walk way from the past, look and
Fight ahead for a brighter future.
A better future she dreamed of
When she packed to come to the city,
A future she dreamed, I will have.
A future I must have.
3/”The Oldest Profession”
All her life
It had been the same.
They’d pay her some money,
Maybe take down her name
So they could find her next time
Their paths crossed the same line.
Always the best
They’d ever had,
Sometimes drunken praise
Almost made her glad
She had the job she did.
Anne came to the job
At the age of sixteen.
She’d just needed money,
Needed some mean
So many came into
And out of her life.
So many gave solace,
A break from the strife,
At least for a moment.
When it was gone,
She’d again be alone,
More empty than before.
4/DEDICATED TO THE PROSTITUTES ON SKID ROW
The streets are always visible.
Your job is never done.
Your hope is a just a word,
you’ve never learned to pronounce.
I tremble because I can’t understand.
I’m scared of you; for you,
and you’re just walking the streets,
trying to afford cigarettes and socks.
It’s just one more day to finish,
and you find a novel in someone’s grocery cart.
5/by Nicole Lepke
Loosy Lucy walks down the street
Gets paid to sleep with the men she meets
Doesn’t care what she gets
Long as it’s cash or a cashable check
She walks down the street at night
Skirt too short and top too tight
Looking for a man, a trick
Money to feel that needle prick
Now that baby inside her screams
It haunts her days, shatters her dreams
The killer spreads her legs apart
Searching for pieces of brain, of heart
Back on the street, just barely healed
Passing the motel where she first kneeled
His cigarette, on her head he ashed
He zipped his pants, threw her some cash
This’ll be the last time she will bring
Pleasure to a jerk with a wedding ring
No more for a man’s last fling
Not even for a piece of bling
She turned around to walk back home
Over a bridge, dark water below
She looked down past her tattered shoes
She’d never make the evening news
The water grabbed her, pulled her down
She let herself sink, still wanting to drown
Her lungs grew heavy, her arms went limp
The only one searching would be her pimp
Now that baby in her heart screams
Would have saved her life and her dreams
She’ll never be known as the mommy kind
Just a worn out whore, they’ll never find
6/As the goddess bids bye to poverty,
an African flute faintly cries.
As the goddess gathers weapons for work,
an African flute cries louder and louder.
She takes with her a small juju bag,
Within are consecrated African beads, green, white and red pieces of cloths.
With her shrine in-between her legs.
the African flute fades away in pity
as she leaves the shores of her poverty,
into the shores of her milk and money.
In obedience to the voice of mama goddess
she prepares her African spiritual charms
all over her African spiritual palms.
In eagerness she waits for her precious night,
she waits for the arrival of a full moon
to invoke the spirit of her river husband,
whose spirit must surely come out at night
to adhere to the call of his midnight lover.
The goddess now turns very nocturnal.
She must be out by the hours of the moon
to physically meet with her river husband.
She sights her victimised river husband
Who might belong to a bourgeoisie class,
rides in a beautiful bourgeoisie car.
She sings the song of river spirits,
dances naked in front of her river husband.
Her breast dangles from left to right,
shakes her buttocks like a duck after sex,
attracts her river husband into her shrine.
Her river husband gets stark naked,
gets into her shrine blinded by her charms.
She stretches her arms, one to the right
and she stretches the other to the left.
She places the eggs of her river husband
in her palms and squeezes them very hard
so he could vomit only quick Euros.
The goddess is nocturnal,
she does not sleep at night,
she sleeps deeply only during the day,
contacts her mama goddess in deep sleep
to give account of her realised wages.
Mama goddess warns:
“Thou must not be seen with a black boy.
The black boy is a vulture, waiting patiently
for his prey”
In the house of the goddess
dwells a desperate calm black boy.
The goddess in her might, falls in love
despite warnings from her mama.
In the house of the goddess
she reads some sacred laws to the black boy
saying: “Thou must be silent while I
commune with my river husband.
Thou must run away before the arrival
of my river husband.
Thou must conceal whatsoever thou
see in the house of the goddess.
Keep these laws and you will share with
me treasures from the sea”.
In the house of the goddess, he eats black-boy rice.
He turns into a perpetual slave to the goddess.
He is shut up by an inevitable silence,
he enjoys gifts of hell in his heaven.
He is a victim of an inordinate passion,
he is a slave to treasures from the sea.
All doors are locked, no way to escape.
He is now an obedient slave to prostitution.
The whites and blacks, alike are slaves,
slaves in the institution of prostitution.
By Adogiye Opubo Ayerite (Rabbi de mirror)
He felt sorry
For the old whores
Standing on the
To sell their wares,
Or in cafes
Or bars sitting
There coming on
With the old talk,
Sipping the booze
Or hot coffee,
Eyeing those who
Entered as if
Old habits died
Hard or not at
All in some keen
Cases; but this
Dame, had him in
The heart and kept
Him keen, being
Good looking still
And clean, and had
A brain that was
Bright enough to
Wasn’t a make
And in her eyes
He thought he saw
Something of the
Girl she had been
Before, some small
Her soul once gazed
Out at a world
Of black and white
Before the times
Of grim days and
Those tarnished nights.
8/AS A LITTLE GIRL, I PICTURED A DIFFERENT LIFE
I can’t believe that I am 27 years old. As a little girl, I always pictured myself married with children by this age. However, prison has been my life for the past nine and a half years.
Sometimes I look into the mirror and the reality of what my life has become strikes me! I ask myself, what have I done? I feel so powerless and at times fearful, yet I’m determined to fight this battle to a victory.
At the age of seventeen, I was sentenced to serve eighteen years in prison, more than my living years on this earth at the time. I was convicted of Aggravated Manslaughter in connection with a botched robbery. Not having a sense of direction and following others led me to where I am today. I should have been the leader of my life instead of placing my life in the hands of those who weren’t to be trusted. Even though I experimented with drugs, that was not the core of my problems. Mine was a disturbance of loneliness and a broken heart.
A year before I committed my crime, my boyfriend was shot and killed in Puerto Rico. After he died, nothing made sense to me anymore. I was traumatized and extremely depressed.
When I look back at that phase in my life, everything seems so dark, so gray, so cloudy, and ultimately as damp as the grave – dark because of my pain and my suffering. Where was I headed? My life was shattered when his was lost and I lost myself trying to find him again. Things were gray and cloudy from all the Marijuana I was smoking just trying to laugh away my emptiness. Damp from all the tears I had shed and even those that were withheld. Those same tears fall from my eyes every time I think about my life and all the pain I have caused others.
So here I am. Look where I ended up! I am in prison, but my life is no longer gray and cloudy. I am no longer self-destructive. I have learned to let go of the pain and be the leader of my life once and for all. My life is no longer ruled by my problems.
Before my incarceration, my family tried everything in their power to help me. But like a typical teenage girl, I thought I had the answer to everything. Boy was I wrong!
My greatest desire is that if anyone reads this and can identify with me, please take into consideration the consequences that follow actions and choices like mine. It is not easy sitting in a prison cell watching the years go by. It is not easy living with regrets. Every day I ask God for forgiveness. And it is definitely not easy having a visit with your family and then watching them walk out that door. It is not easy existing in a brick cell and not living like I should. I constructed my own demise and I will reconstruct my own future.
9/”Virgin by Choice” for lady like me..by Dollface
that terrible voice within my head,
the man reminding me of who i used to be.
I touch the “X” thats engraved on my left arm,
the one “X” the guy left.
It’s gradually fading away,
but every time i place my fingers on it,
i remember the fear in my eyes, i remember the pain that fulfilled me.
It’s the most difficult task explaining my being a “virgin by choice”
i had no say being you know.. raped. i was a kid
now its hard for me.. finally realizing that i’ve lost something so special, because now when i truly love that one person, i have nothing to lose”…
So the man i love i told i was a virgin…
i was terrified, what would he think if me knowing what happened to me.. and why on earth would i lie?/. rite!?
so we did “make love”..
and he waited.. a few days later he gained the confidence to ask.. why did i lie.
i told him to sit down and i’d explain,
never in my life would i have expected to impact someone elses life, i never knew i was worth” so much.
as soon as i got teary eyed, it’s like he knew what i was going to say,
he grabbed my hand and wiped my tear, i looked up and there he was crying with me/
we skipped class that day and cried together haha
we didnt say, we were just by each others side,
then he told me and with the most compassion in a mans eyes
he said i love you”…
with yet another tear rolling down his soft cheek
10.One Of The Many by D0LLFAC3
It all started the day my aunt yelled to me drop to the floor,
as her ex gang banger boyfriend chucked a brick through our window.
I’ve walked in on her having sex,
i’ve walked in on her shooting up,
even a couple of times she’s offered.
She hated my guts, calling me ugly all the time,
and even for the longest time i believed her,
the way she treated me i felt unloveable,
my whole life as im in my teens right now, i’ve been lost.
I dont know where i belong espescially being mixed race.
I had my very 1st smoke with her one day,
and i choked at 1st but surprisingly it came easy to me.
She took me to bathroom and stripped me of my pretty pink dress,
combed me hair, brushed my teeth, gave me a quick wash and handed me to this shirtless man.
i had never seen him before, and i had been getting used to all the guys coming in the house,
but him that man, i had never seen before.
he told me i was beautiful, did his dead.payed my aunt and never saw him again.
I yelled the 1st time, i called my aunts name, but she walked away.
never had i felt so sad, i thought he was killing me, but he didnt.
That day i threw up, and locked myself in the bathroom,
my aunt banged on the door repeatedly YEllINg “Micaela if u tell anyone Ur DEAD”,
i caught my breath and wiped my tears, put my clothes on and opened the door,
she had a needle and said here this will make u feel better,
that night i sweat it out because i remeber shaking and that really bad dream.
That happened twice, but the next time it was more than one guy, that hurt me real bad.