#I can’t!

You raised me well
Mounted on my buttocks I can ferry pot and fire wood at one go
I can twist my hips faster than any April storm while mashing potatoes and maize
And I,your daughter, has never sat badly-day or night.
Now the village sings of my stinking house, filthy children and
Bush lands, hypocrites!
If they must wiggle their tongues in mockery
Let them spread the truth.

The man you call your son in-law is no king
Did I not bow at his feet on our wedding night
My eyes shut, I was ready to scream the night away in his honor
Only to be inspected-for two seconds- by his dead sausage
What king!

This thing you call your son in-law will not eat from my pot
Did he buy what is in my pot?
Did he negotiate with the butcher for the meat boiling in my pot? Argh!
Let him eat where He will eat.

I will not wash his clothes
Will I wash my baby’s faeces or his?
Mama, his urine smeared underwear will blind my eyes one of this fine days
I am too young to turn blind!

Do not demand my silence
I will not be silenced
The village must hear about my itch,
The man who claims to be my husband sweats on top of every woman in the village
I have never stopped itching from the collection of fleas He gifts me every unfortunate night.
Your son is no man, what man idles at the village square drowning Jebel?
What man walks past his un-tilled land with no shame, expecting me tile the acre, am I a tractor?
Now He stands tall to brag of His son’s exam results
let it be known to Him and His clan-only a mother knows the father of Her children.

Let him see my monthly blood
It is his fault for letting it flow
Other men are busy clogging their wives with pregnancy
while He sits idly under the tree patting his withering testicles,
Let Him see it!

I have heard you,
I will not raise my voice at your son,
It is him, you will scream the village down at my terror,
It is as if He has forgotten I come from Mathira,where men are women and women are women!

How dare you call two sickly goats and half baked brew dowry,
What an insult!
Mama, gather his elders, I will pay them back their dowry ten times,
Anything to be rid of this excuse of a man I will do,
I beg you mama, I will run naked-my underwear on my head- if you force me to go back to him,
I am not his wife!



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