Night of the Nothing-Hope

On the sex trafficking of children

Children of sorrows,
the taken ones,
children of a dark,
hidden corner–
please don’t find me
tonight, if only by mama
or papa

And the rains fall down.
Pulsing quietly behind
the heart of each taken child
is a small space which feels no more.
The black night, chewed with
the laughter of jackals,
is wet with jungle mist.
The dogs come in one after the other,
and her tears overflow as from
an ancient cistern,
too much, too much.
The obscenities sweating
through whiskey whispers.
Rasping as Pall Mall is blown into
a mouth that has forgotten vanilla popsicles.
Rain trickles through the roof
of the widowed hut,
flows out of the door.
No one knows she is here,
her 10 year old body racked,
pelvis nearly broken,
she cannot think of home.
Still, still she lies,
moisture soaking through
to her soiled skin.
She thinks of the color blue,
like the ocean,
orange like mangoes,
golden, like the sun’s hair.
When she can walk,
when she can no longer hear
rain beating upon the hut,
or the laughing of jackals,
she stumbles out.
She turns her blue eyes skyward.
A billion eyes look back.
They look just like her.
Hidden during the day,
taken out to dance for
the world in the night
of the nothing-hope.

Melissa A. Chappell is a writer from South Carolina who is much inspired by nature, spirituality, and social justice issues which particularly speak to her. She has published in The Orchards Poetry Review, Autumn Sky Daily, Blaze Vox, among others. Her latest book is Remnant Day (Transcendent Zero Press, 2023). She hopes one day to travel to Spain in the spring. Read other articles by Melissa A..