“One Day” is a refection of my work at Restore One and inspiration by British poet, William Blake’s sonnet “The Chimney Sweeper: When my mother died I was very young,” a ghostly narrative telling the injustice of boys sold into chimney sweeping in the 1700s and 1800s in Great Britain.
One day when my eyes aren’t gray
And my bones are full of sleep,
I’d never hear the cries of boys,
Walling, “Weep, Weep, Weep”
Scarcely too young to speak,
“Sleep, Sleep, Sleep.”
Folding in their tiny hands and feet,
With no Mom to tuck in the sheets,
Innocence is seized,
A dime to lustful man’s deceit.
While crickets creek,
nighttime’s stars beam,
And Mother moon’s face fades, her spotlight,
Dismissing the pandemonium.
Jim and five year-old Bob sings,
“Ill be working on the railroad, all the live long day.
I’ll be working on the railroad, ain’t got time for play.”
In the background howls the wolf,
soul in phases,
Mother moon disappears.
Hope cannot die like this or has it already?
Howls of the wolf.
And could there be a day where Jim, Bob, Jack and Tim are little boys again?
Life should not be like this!
And it is.
So, they all awake in a blanket of embers,
tricking for no pay and no play.
And maybe yesterday or today will be the one day,
where hope would live, again.
Anna Smith is Co-Founder and Executive Director of Restore One, where she works diligently on The Anchor House. The Anchor House will be the first shelter in the nation designed to meet the needs of sex trafficked and sexually exploited American boys. Anna has a resilient passion to see sex trafficking victims experience true healing and restoration. In her spare time, Anna enjoys biking with her husband Chris, reading, cooking, throwing pottery, running and yoga. Learn more about Restore One here.
Dear Anna, This poem is gripping. It bring me to the reality of what you do on a day-to-day basis. Also where your heart is and the courage you have to step into a world of wounded boys that so much needs care.God be with you as you continue to follow your heart and God’s call upon you. May He protect, encourage and strengthen you day by day.
Thank you for the love and encouragement. The support to keep going truly is worthwhile and yet some days I’m undone. I’m thankful for so many to stand with on this journey.
The poem is haunting, as it should be – greed and deceit become powerful masters where compassion and respect should reign. Thank you for your work, blessing the lives oppressed by greed with the love and respect they were born to experience.
Yes DJ, it is a chilling reality and the hope in mist of this type of suffering is that restoration is possible. Thank you for the kind words of support and encouragement.