I am here (a victim of human trafficking)

May 27, 2014
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twenty-nine million human beings
six-million children
thirty-two billion dollars a year
The second largest industry in the world
and still invisible

I am not just a number
I am not only the hands
behind your shoes
your food
the freshly mopped floors
and the shirt on your back
I am not just a dishwasher
or a maid
or a farmer
I am not goods to be smuggled, bought and sold
I am not ninety dollars

I am here:
here in these green fields
there in humming factories
in fishing boats and slaughterhouses
I am the jobs no one else will do
I am twenty hour work days without pay
I am here
in hotels and restaurants
I am here:
your country
your town
on your street
your home
I am a peice of everything you own
I am here.
In flesh, skin and bone
so why won’t you see me?

Have you over-looked me?
can you not see the things I do to make your life easy?
do you dare to ignore slavery, at its highest rate in history?
will you listen when I tell you
I learned to shoot a gun instead of how to spell my name?
can you hear me?
I work for hours and sleep
with one eye open
are you listening?
I am eight years old and stripped
of clothes and innocence
Can you see my
fingerprints on the apple you are eating?
the blood from my fingers on the threads of your clothes?
can you hear me?

Or maybe you blame me?
Blame me
for being too trusting
or for being too afraid to speak up
too wary of the gun concealed
too close
You blame me for a corrupt government?
A group sworn to protect that does nothing in the face of injustice
but stuff its wallet with dirtied bills
For greedy human nature?
You blame me for having a family who is desperate for something better?
You blame me for not fighting back?
I blame you
for being blind to me

I was stolen
to afraid to reach out
trapped in a foreign place
I am from
I am from here, from planet Earth
I am human
I am a history
and a family
a woman
a man
a child
I am one of twenty-nine million
I am a victim of human trafficking

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