Friday, July 26, 2013

Every Night Raw

young, alone, beautiful
sold for a pittance
a family struggling to stay alive
carny life is all she knows
cooch tents, toothless, sweaty 'marks'
endless train rides to nowhere

she glances in the mirror
positions her breasts, pinches her cheeks
men are crazy restless, the show must go on
 repeats it night after night
with unrelenting resolve

until she is old, wrinkled, spent
marks not willing to pay, for her faded favors
dim the lights .. curtain down
carny life is over
the only life she knows


  1. sad...hard life too...sold by your fam, even to pay for their food...ugh hard to consider...and then aging out, its all you ever knew...whats left?

  2. Yes, it is a sad fact. Love your take on the prompt!

  3. yikes and ouch - hard hitting write

  4. It is amazing to me the lives people have led - such as the folk in a circus or carny. I really felt the emotion in this portrait.

  5. Great play on the word marks, Helen, and really vivid, images full of content in this one. You capture the essence of life on the edge, of having so little, yet the enormity of losing even that.

  6. Such a hard life she lives, yet she moves on with unrelenting resolve ~

    To live on the raw edge is pretty tough ~ Good one Helen ~

  7. You portrayed this type of life very vividly, Helen. Definitely the emotion was felt.

  8. Carny from carny...damn Helen, this paints one of those pictures that you cant for one minute believe that this was life in "simpler times". there were no simpler times and when we get nostalgic for them, this is what needs to pop into our minds to paint the picture of reality again. You did a great job, there are so many shows on TV on cable right now that do a great job of painting this reality, maybe over dramatized but still buried in half truths. thanks for coming out and writing such a brilliant piece, I really appreciate it!

  9. Fantastic, Helen. Horrifying to think these things happened, but they did, throughout history, whether the daughter was sold to a carnival, sent out as a maid, taken out of school and put to work in a factory. I think Corey is right, we think "simpler times" were better times, but not necessarily, and certainly not at all for many.