As part of a personal project, I have been revisiting what may have been some of the hidden messages behind the stories my mother would read to me as a child. My poem The Voice of the Wolf, was one such experiment. Goldilocks, written by Robert Southey and released in 1837 as The Story of the Three Bears, was one of my favorites.
Much darker versions of the story existed before we got to the final, sanitized version that we read and love today. Goldilocks and The Three Bears have been a staple of children’s reading lists for a very long time. It’s underlying message of respecting the privacy and property of others, hid a much heavier issue that has plagued major cities for centuries. My Poem, Goldie, explores this subject matter.
You can scroll the images to read the poem.
On any given night in the USA, there are at least 582,462 homeless people. A staggering 16.8% or 98,244 were under the age of 18. Of the half million homeless, 223,000 are female. Those are only the numbers that were documented by authorities. Many people inevitably slip through the system.
Goldie was lucky.
Many in her situation, struggle with substance abuse, mainly as a coping mechanism. Others are forced into criminal activity purely for survival. And many unaccompanied females suffer victimization. It is documented by researchers, that trauma and rape numbers are at least two times higher among homeless youth compared to the general population.
Here are some other sobering statistics.
Over 20,000 kids are forced into prostitution by human trafficking networks every year.
80% of homeless youth have drug problems.
5000 die each year because of illness, assault, or suicide.
The children are indeed our future. But I wonder; what does the future look like to the 100,000 Goldie’s that use cardboard, or newspapers for a blanket, and wake up next to strangers on park benches?
Copyright Nigel Byng 2023. All Rights Reserved
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