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. self-adornment 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 “Hallelujah” 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 body 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 and- 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” origin 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 things their voices only to be heard when spoken to body taken by force and beaten when unwilling sisters who wear scars as tattoos of oppression 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.