Monday, December 13, 2021

Joseph B. Haggerty Sr.

THANKFUL TO SURVIVE

She wasn’t expecting much traffic tonight
Holidays had their ups and downs alright
The worse part were the memories of home
There were some good ones before she’d grown

Sitting around the table expecting a good meal
Smells from the kitchen how they made you feel
Her younger brother and sister quieted with a shout
As her mother put a scrumptious cooked turkey out

The honk of a horn broke the spell as she approached
Using the words and acting as she was coached.
A man leaned over from the driver’s side of the car
I’m looking for sex how much do you charge

She went with the man and did what was expected
Her pimp would be by later money to be collected
She ran away from home after her father was arrested
Fourteen years old when she was sexually molested

Her pimp found her and made her feel wanted
Love turned to money and her nights were haunted
Threats and violence, money for sex became her lot
Her worthiness became how much money she got

Thanksgiving for her was a hamburger and fries
She’d live through the degradation and the lies
She believed that one day a normal life would arrive
And she’d be thankful if she could only survive


Joseph reads "Thankful to Survive":



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Joseph confesses: "Most of my police career, my partner and I worked prostitution cases. We learned very quickly that the real criminals in prostitution were the pimps. I considered the women and children—the average age of the juvenile prostitute is 14—working the street victims."


JOSEPH B. HAGGERTY SR. is a retired vice detective and academy instructor from the Metropolitan Police Department in Washington, D.C. He was a Senior Special Agent in Investigations with the Office of the Inspector General for Amtrak. In 2009, he received an award, Heroes of the Heart, from the organization Children of the Night in California and recognized as one of the top ten law enforcement officers in the country for rescuing children from the street. He was president of the Writers League of Washington for nine years. He has been a member of the Public Safety Writers Association for since 2010. He has a self-published novel, Shame: The Story of a Pimp, based on his experiences investigating child predators in prostitution. He had three short stories and two poems published the PSWA anthology, Felons, Flames and Ambulance Rides. He also has another book from Oak Tree Press, titled, An Ocean in the Desert.

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