This God Called Woman

I have woman beaten onto my back 
female sewn into my skin
weakness embroidered into the thing 
that makes me me
I have strength for years that 
make your tongue wag
when it comes to spilling my pride and pains 
I survive through it all rising above 
the things that call me soft 

you call me rib but I am the mother of nations 
the womb that give things air
you say men before me 
like my womb didn’t seed their bloom

I am woman 
besides God 
I make all.


for the days you feel strange in yourself, remember to hold yourself and love you well

hair is an halo
reaching up to heaven
bursting out

skin is a testament
gold from God’s kiss
when he blessed me
“this is my child”

body is a vase
holding a soul
of scents and colors
“for now you are at home”

some days you hug your
because it feels ancient
you squeeze your skin
begging it to once again
be warm, be kind, be mine.

Mother’s song

on my mother's back
i first saw the world
on her back, i knew hills
and elated mountains-
i learnt the language of peace
i knew what safety was
it was like ...
learning the name
of God on your tongue.

My Mother Bathes Her Pain in Prayers

We stare into the darkness ridden with brightness.
That comes from the heart of the generator outside the barbershop.
Nights like I wish the secrets going on in my mother’s head will set me free
I long for her dreams and interpretations to help me breathe
Most times I lose focus I see her, it comforts me
She is here right in sight, face hard but soft eyes
It is the world that baked her brown but still she’s tender inside.
She’s looking into times that only her irises can define
Rising in age yet young whilst old in wisdom
Finding answers in her own world of patient breakthrough
Surviving like a peasant but still living as a queen
Learning our nos and yes’
Raising us in luxury even with kobo we are penniful, feeding us drunk in bountiful
Giving us lessons to teach our own daughters, pouring her stories to fuel our experience

This night I stare at my mother.
Tight lips, scrunched nose.
She is only perusing our future and praying grace falls upon us.
Staring into the darkness asking God
“let my daughters have light so bright it rules over darkness”
a pause
“let my daughters be bright that they are moon
the only big star in darkness, let them be sun
the energy of a whole world”


this is to all my sisters
who bled before
it was their time

trauma is the signature of 
your past
your weakest memory shows 
a blue room 
where the first man held your small
frame then tried to take you 
he didn’t care that you were six
you ran and you never told anyone 
swallowed the key to that door 
like it never happened 
you live with it like you’re getting 
ready for the next ones 

10 years later, you’re at a small supermarket 
two male attendants walk up to you 
they try to corner you then laugh 
at your shaky hands and seized breath
“what’s wrong with you?”
they don’t  know their small play 
just caused a panic attack
you leave the supermarket 
with your heart in your throat 

sometimes when you’re alone
you think about why it happened to you 
what exactly did i do 
you blame yourself 
then hate your body for causing you grief 
you want to abandon this skin 
but the sins you burden yourself with
are not yours to bear

the realization of this
draws you closer to the truth 

you suffered first through pain,
then grieved the child you weren’t allowed to be 
everything morphs into anger 

you realize there are little girls out there
like you
who don’t know it’s a rapist disguised 
as an uncle, father or brother 
women who are made to feel like 
their voices only to be heard when spoken to 
body taken by force and beaten when unwilling 

sisters who wear scars as tattoos of
some as far as a thousand miles away from you
or the next block from yours 
you find a way to reach out to them 
they don’t all know the word 

but the prospect of freedom 
gives them hope, 
it installs a light in their eyes 
they call it unwarranted
but it’s one voice 
for billions of women 
around the world.

   -feminist because we are one.

About the Author:

Adeyele Adeniran is a Nigerian poet, creative writer, and feminist who resides in Lagos, Nigeria. Her poetry and storytelling are greatly inspired by her part as a spectator in a world filled with humanity and chaos. Besides writing, she loves to get lost in her imagination, enjoys music that make her feel like a rockstar, and loves to have a good time and a great laugh with people who make her happy. She studies History and Strategic studies at the University of Lagos. Her works have been published in Kalahari Review, The Young African Poets Anthology, African Writers, LitQuarterly, NoteWorthy,and Women’s Peace Magazine; and is forthcoming elsewhere. She hopes to be a voice and influence of change. 

Image by Anthony Arnaud from Pixabay