Do you now see,
Why I was tagged a mouse?
Why I shivered when spoken to?
Why the angles of my mouth are down turning?
Why the creases between my brows are deep as gullies?
Why my voice makes no sound, no matter how loud I shout?
Why I run off like a dog, tail between legs when looked at by any?
Why I live in my head and live to write but never to speak out loud?
I was uncle’s poor victim,
As well as papa’s too.
Papa raided my body first,
Then he went for my soul.
Uncle too did the same.
I was but nine the first time.
Right under your nose,
I was raided till I left home.
Aged eighteen and scarred for life.
Many before me rose above them.
But my build was fragile,
So I cracked underneath it all.
Titi is a lawyer now and married thrice.
Bisi, a doctor, about to wed, the fourth time.
Why couldn’t I rise like both of them,
Do things society expects of me,
Despite all uncle and papa did to us?
It must be my fault that I cracked so.
It must be my fault that I was raped then.
At least that’s what aunty’s glare said,
When I dared to make a fuss,
The first and last time I dared to.
Now I’m fifty,
A lonely man with no voice but a pen in hand.
You couldn’t understand for the life of you,
Why I had to be the way I am.
Can you see clearly now,
The enormous wrong done to me?
Is it true that ghosts see all?
Dear mother, can you see true from up there,
What I could not tell while you lived?
Does it impale your heart so,
Now you know the truth and lies?
Or would you have blamed me too,
Treating all so casually that I would
have died more inside than I have?
Image credit: The Flounce