One Poem by Rennie Halstead

Written in response to this month’s Special Challenge.

The Red Bed

A large red bed.
No chair, no table, no need.
This is my workplace,
my home, my prison.

I paid your brother,
a new life,
me and my sister,
no more poverty or war.
All our savings.
We believed you.

You say my sister has a job,
that soon she’ll send for me.
Once I’ve paid my debts
I’ll be free.

I wonder if you raped her too.
Perhaps she’s in another room
upstairs, next door,
serving your friends and clients,
just like me.

You can keep me here,
force me to wear this red top,
black skirt,
tell me to smile,
make your friends feel good,
threaten to hurt me –
as if you can.
You have my body
you won’t have me
and no, I will not smile.


Rennie has been writing since he was eleven. He writes poetry, flash fiction, short stories and reviews. You can find his poetry on his ello site at:

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