Friday, 26 May 2017

Tribe of Woods - Warsan Shire

I held down my daughter last night
spread her limbs across the forest
laid her out to rest
crushed berries across her mouth and
gave her my knuckles to chew on

I gave my daughter to a man
an offering that made my stomach tight
with want, he spread her limbs across the town
I prayed she felt something,
wriggled underneath him like
the women across the border,
I listened out to hear her moan
but I heard nothing.

my husband tides himself
inside the wetness of another woman
my marital bed is a cleft chin I lag my
tongue across, my body has never felt
heat, my back has never arched.

I gave my daughter to a boat last night
pressed prayers into her palms and
told her to quiet her tears
women like us can’t afford to be weak
and I want different from my grand daughter.

my daughter will curse my name in a foreign hospital
where her limp pregnant body
will be inspected by a bone lipped doctor
who’ll ask “what happened to this woman”.

tell him your mother took it
a tribe of women the woodsmen
a rusted blade the axe
folklore and religion,
but tell him your mother meant well
and promise me
that you’ll teach my granddaughter
that there is never any shame in want.

Warsan Shire (born 1988) Kenya (lives in UK)
Source: Badilisha Poetry

1 comment:

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