In the Dark
Diane Dinndorf Friebe
In Thailand? Yes.
In movies? Yes.
In the newspapers? Yes.
But in my back yard? No! Of course not!
On those ships I see out on the lake? No!
In these northern woods I call home? No!
But I was in the dark.
Just as in the dark as they keep the girls when they take them
From their lives
Their fathers and mothers, sisters and brothers
Promising money and a better life
A way out of any situation
They lie and lie to get the girls in
And then don’t let them out
Those young, vulnerable girls are tricked
Baited and switched
Offered a helping hand, then given a life in hell
And it’s not just on TV or in Thailand
It is here
It is in my back yard
Our back yard
Many of those taken are Native American girls
They are taken, have been taken, for generations
To feed the male dominated industries and pastimes
Shipping, logging, mining, hunting, fishing
All so synonymous with northern MN
Also synonymous with sex trafficking
A link I had never known before that afternoon in Duluth
I’d gone to see my niece in a play
She played a detective interviewing a bottom,
A recruiter for a sex trafficking ring
Where they took young girls and used them up
For the pleasure of men
The girls destroyed, disposable
Another cash business
The product: young girls
But this play is not fiction
Not a story from a writer’s imagination
This play is reality
Researched and written to show me
To show us all
What is happening
In our back yard
While I look out at the white snow
I contemplate this black stain in our lives
This dirty secret of the vacationland that is the Arrowhead
Colorful brochures show the beauty of our area
But no pages tell of the ugliness of our area
Girls, lost to sex trafficking
Young lives ruined
A terror in our midst
Shock turns to confusion
Settling to an awful awareness
A desire to do something
Help stop this situation
But awareness, given time
Can become apathy
Just one more horrible story
In the newspaper
Forgotten about at the end of the paragraph
We can’t let that happen.
Not for these girls.
Instead of apathy, let’s have action.
Take a step.
Help stop sex trafficking
Here on the North Shore
In our back yard.