disclaimer: when i initially drafted this post (many weeks ago – writer’s procrastination had me bad that month). now there have been way too many incidents of violence against women, way too many names to remember… however, the words of this poem still echo how i felt a few years ago when i wrote this poem.
the recent uproar (of very minor proportions) about the 2013 AFCON’s statement on women and witching and not being allowed to sit in certain spots in stadiums, reminded me of a poem i wrote many moons ago.
now, this poem was meant for a women’s issue of a poetry anthology on rape. yes, rape, i know… it reminded me of rape because like rape, such statements, speak of far deeper societal problems. the idea of being violated and being told what to do, how to behave, what to wear, what NOT to wear, when to speak, when to sit down…the list goes on and on… does all of this change me? who i am? what i can be?
Of every newspaper article or news clip
I felt my essence as they were mutilating my beautiful body,
Stretching my oven of hope
A passage only the one I love is supposed to possess
Why, my brother, so much anger against your own
Look me straight in the eye so you can see the damage your raging loins are making you do
My soul weeps for my robbed innocence, violence in pursuit of my soul
Antiretrovirals, emergency pills – precautions only after
My bones and skin still ache where they groped
Skirt soiled with your useless seed
What a shame.
Incestuous invasions by father on daughter
Mama where were you
Did I not cry loud enough?
Give me a drug of forgetfulness, of forgiveness
Oh, Jehovah help their empty souls
My heart safely tucked beneath my ribcage,
Far out of their violent reach
They can only scratch the surface of my soul
But they’ll never own it