Five Dollars Closer to Freedom
In Fitzroy Street each evening
painted girls in skin-tight clothes
stood waiting in the doorways
for men to walk by.
("Thirty bucks a quickie and no full strip")
In Lupton Street, day in, day out,
a half-grown child with ancient eyes
looked hopefully for chances
to sell all she had.
(Five dollars bought whatever was wanted.)
They climbed into the battered Ford
their silent subtexts understood,
transaction made and sealed
with eight years of blood.
(A round of golf, then back to business.)
Her practiced hands moved robot-like
while doing what he asked her to,
then as he came between her legs
she lay there numbly.
(The fear never left her; she just stuffed
In the wardrobe, huddled tight,
pink rabbit clutched within her arms,
the girl hid from the raging,
crumpled notes in hand.