I was brought straight from heaven,
And placed in a haven.
It was a difference I couldn’t tell,
Until my haven turned hell.

My voice was always the loudest,
Till the threats and hurt made it the quietest.
A slap or two on the cheek wasn’t what I was afraid of,
But the throbbing pain in my crotch was all I could think of.

The woman who birthed me barely heeded my complaints,
Though she always spotted me washing bloodstains.
The words of her husband’s brother were more believable,
While mine were considered despicable.

A thousand times I made to escape,
And a million times I was intercepted.
The thought of leaving was something I could never scrape,
So a plan or two was all that I needed.

A ring and a new abode sounded perfect,
But being compelled to abandon my job did not.
The man whom I shared a bed with turned out imperfect,
So I wallowed daily in regret for tying the knot.

Being called an animal wasn’t the only problem,
But saying sorry when I did no wrong was an anthem.
Getting a few coins into my purse,
Always came with embarrassment and a curse.

My friends gradually disappeared,
Because God punished a missus who kept companions.
Despair and loneliness appeared,
And tears trickled down my cheeks even when I diced no onions.

With his huge palms around my neck and seeing the face of death,
I knew he deserved to be in a penitentiary miles away.
After what seemed like a century of torture, I could finally breathe,
Because for many like me, I paved the way.

Looking into the eyes of my mini-me,
I vowed she would never have to experience this like me.
This misery occurred once,
And I am bent on not making it happen twice.

Written by : Nasreen Zankawah

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