The pride and virtue in a woman,
A thing given as a gift,
I grew up a beautiful girl then to a woman,
A thing not as fast as travelling in a lift.
It was a journey and I have been loved by every man,
They know my worth, too precious a gift,
And I gave it so willingly to my man,
In my first night, it was not too swift,
Even when I was scared by my man’s full glory,
This was what mama told me, the joy of a virtuous woman.
Alas! This is one thing I hate to believe,
That people, my people think I were a baby machine,
If I were still my beautiful damsel, oh what a relieve,
Not to lose my four upper incisors. Oh wrinkles on my chin,
Not to have thought of being a mother, a grandmother,
Even great grandmother, the name I long to be called,
But now changed to what I wouldn’t be called by a brother.
If I smile, it appears as though I growled,
My lost incisors, and the dirty molars so coined a name,
Toothless witch, my name, I groan for its ignominious fame.
My mother-in-law though now in her grave,
The only place she could rest after I married her son,
Blamed me, I sent her to the world beyond,
The same woman who threw her arms round my shoulders,
And gave a welcome, a warm one on my wedding day,
Died hating me for not giving her a grandchild.
I’m fifty but I look much older than eighty,
The sadness that mist me because of kinsmen’s hostility,
Made me age faster than the rising sun,
Hate to admit it; I wish I were never a woman.
My husband, my dear husband who promised paradise,
Who said I was his better half, his second coin face,
Now accuses me, a desert, an infertile land. Names I despise,
Thinking this, wrinkles now on my shamed face,
How I wish I were never married!
My kinsmen, my dear women,
Help tell my in-laws and husband,
My barrenness, not my fault, not if I know,
Why I had become another Sarah and my husband
Another Abraham! But those people’s hope and
Fulfilment, I hope; before I go to my grave,
Will become mine.
Adekanmi A. Solomon.
@me_ablad on twitter