'She's a Prostitute'

In my first years of teaching

I shared a flat with a girlfriend.

She, too, was from a family of sisters

So a single bedroom with a double bed

Was just like 'home'.

We lived together for three years

Very harmoniously,

Each with our own circle of friends

And our respective church commitments.

Anglican hers was, with an evangelical outreach.

She was very enthusiastic, and involved.

I supported her programmes when I could.


One weekend I went to a 'church party',

An activity of her congregation's work

In the inner city area.

'Saving souls' did not sit well with me

But I was willing to withhold judgement

Until I had more familiarity

With how her church approached it.

The hall was bustling when I arrived

Smelling wonderfully of coffee and cake.

My room mate came to welcome me

With a young woman in tow

Nineteen or twenty, maybe.

A bright-eyed, pretty girl

Casually dressed, with minimal make-up.

A little shy, I thought, as I watched their approach.

And my friend said archly,

'Cynthia, this is Sarah. She's a prostitute.'


I couldn't believe my ears!

I held out my hand, smiling,

'Hello, Sarah She's A Prostitute.

I'm very pleased to meet you.'

My friend flushed.

Sarah's eyes flashed.

Then she chuckled.

'I'm pleased to meet you, too, Cynthia.'

And we went off together for goodies.

We discussed the weather, public schooling

And the current job market.

She was a clever, knowledgeable, funny girl

Some mother's fine daughter!

I really, really liked her.

Sex never came up, nor God either.


Cynthia Buell Thomas, August, 2019

◄ Alternate Sexualities

Old People ►


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Mon 5th Aug 2019 16:12

A worthy poem conveying how real life can actually be when relieved of its moral burden or expectation - no doubt still could shock but it's time to contact the living for some.

I love the last line especially. Your light and airy style really works when it digs in deep as on here Cynthia.


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M.C. Newberry

Mon 5th Aug 2019 16:03

I've known those who offered their bodies in various ways for payment.
Their choice never impinged on their likeability or otherwise. A
market is a market and commerce being what it is, who would
condemn any choice that put bread on the table or, perhaps, gave the person a sense of worth via being admired and/or desired?

Devon Brock

Sun 4th Aug 2019 22:08

Such a great story, Cynthia, the lack of judgement, the acceptance that Sarah was someone more and deeper than a label, with the added bonus that compassion and community do not require a dictate from above. Well told and necessary.


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