yvonne selase nyahe

The Last Dance

the drums came echoing
in the stillness of the early morning
babies lay sleeping soundly
innocently nuzzling their mother, s breasts
men sharpen their cuttlasses for the days work
women and children shiver as they hurry to the river
the girl is standing in front of her fathers house
tears streaming down her cheeks
but they told her not to cry
it was a taboo to cry on such a day
but her heart was slowly breaking
a man she hardly knew was coming for her
to make her his new wife
the drums drew nearer
her tears flowed faster
her new husband was nearly here

but i am too young, she cries in anger
this is our way, they tell her sternly
i dont even love him, she sobs
and they laugh at her stupidness
what is love, the maidens sing
the girl resigns to her fate
standing there with her luggage on her head
bundles of her little life possesions, cowries and beads
as the drums drew nearer
she took a few timid steps, afraid yet brave
she danced her very last time as a child
to the loud rythm of the drum sticks
goodbye mother, i will do my best
goodbye father, i will make you proud
as they led her away the crowd cheered
an old man leaning against a tree signed
poor girl, he thought
that was her very last dance

Poem Submitted: Wednesday, April 1, 2009

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