by Shade Akinmorin
Bruised, blood-stained feet of a child.
Growing pains, working in the fields
‘til she grows lame.
Dusk ‘til dawn, cultivating yams
hoping one day to get a raise
in status above her siblings.
She has four brothers
so why even bother,
in a male infested world
that she will never conquer.
Sold at fourteen
to a man fifty years older
in the dark he would behold her
undeveloped features make her angelic
but a look in the mirror and all she sees is demonic.
Vomiting at her sight
but she really knows she’s starving the baby inside,
that she hopes dies, so it won’t have to be a girl
so that she can tell her lies,
that her beauty and mind is what makes her defined.
Her bones boldly defined, in her thin green Ankara
that she strips off
exposing masked scars
that she cut into her arms.
She hasn’t seen her mom in 10 seasons
after her father auctioned her off to this demon.
Laying down in bed
she whispers her final prayer:
“Lord, swallow the hate that consumes this world.
Shed tears on the fires that burn our souls,
Evoke wisdom for those who will listen,
And I pray peace for all God’s children.”