I was challenged by a member of the writers group I was part of to write a poem from a woman's perspective. I had recently watched a documentary on genital mutilation which inspired me to write this, Type 3 being the harshest of the practice -

Colonial history will still dictate how the men around here

Practice love through hate

For aesthetic purposes; an ethnic marker

Gender controlled by husband...son...father

Against my will.


I can let nature take its course, the uneasiness in how I pass

Bears nothing to your immoral force with which you open me up

Your gateway to a selfish pleasure

And I once believed that being loved

Was close to being treasured

I am as trapped as a bird in a cage

Modified and made ugly by your commission

Disfigured by tradition and religion and holy wars

And chained by the fear  that renders me yours

Against my will


My sisterhood grows, from northeast Africa

To the sub-Sahara

Young and joyless and bound by doctrines

No pursuit of happiness. No pleasure to come

No great expectations. Nothing foretold

Nothing that has been or gone

Objects more of control than desire

My eyes that once shone with innocent love

Now burn with hate fuelled fire…and all because...

You denied me a fall from grace, you denied me self discovery

No different to putting scars on my face

Or is that too much a public recovery?

You denied me womanhood. You denied me choice

I censor my thoughts and silence my voice

And I think of our mothers and their mothers

And of the honour and pride they felt

When this exact same fate to them was dealt

And why did they not feel humiliated? Abused?

Mutilated? Used?

Maybe when we live in a world without light

We relinquish our strengths and fall prey to our plights

Enlightenment and knowledge, I was lead to believe,

Are the roads to freedom

Our mothers learned nothing other than to serve and to please

And here am I, enlightened but sedated

Imprisoned, captive, segregated

Dysmorphic now, a victim still

And all of this against my will





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Sun 11th Feb 2018 20:28

Such a capturing piece. Felt drawn to reading it aloud which made it an even more impassioned read.. simply a favourite

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