David Ration Lekoba
Pain-Ted Woman - Poem by David Ration Lekoba
Is my name so obvious?
Is my name so written all over me?
When potbellied men undress me from afar
And boys uncouth mistake me for a dog
They mistake me for a cow to whistle at
Is my name really that obvious?
You see, I didn’t name myself
My father did.
In secret so did my mother’s brother
He hushed me in threat to kill
The name he gave me…a secret, mine and his
Is it really that obvious?
This name, my fault…
My life’s eternal seal
A gift from my father’s friend
In exchange for bills unpaid.
A gift from my mother’s friend
In exchange for her glim and glitter.
This is my name!
I walk it, I talk it and I use it
Boys come and like my uncle leave their secret
Potbellied fathers and husbands leave their secret
Without this name, my name
I have no other
Now by night I linger in streets
My crimson dress revealing my name
Like flies they come to pay their debts
Their secrets to leave in pleasuring my lust and theirs
In the steaming heat of the night’s cold
They plunge in me, my name defined
My childhood name has grown so big
I’m by day unknown, by night the queen
My childhood scars inside me hide
My night is day, revenge on men
Imprudent to think they own me now
My name isn’t so obvious now
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