Such a respectable man, Oga John...
The way he called every man 'sir',
the way he talked about his wife—
he made her seem his equal.
The things he said, oh such a simple soul.
The way he said my name when I told him, 
stressing on every syllable, 
processing it like he wasn't also Ibo,

But there was something about 
the way he looked at me; 
I never noticed him assessing my endowments,
but there was always a look in his eyes,
like he was checking for something in mine.

The day he told me
'Eh Nn-e-nn-a, come and take something for your mother,'
there was nothing respectable about his tone
when he said he loved me.
There was politeness in mine when I said 'no, thank you sir'
but when he said, 'I want you,' 
his voice was harsh, husky,
and although he had never propositioned me before,
I knew he was done waiting for my approval.

There was nothing respectable 
about how he tore at my pink dress, 
or how he held his hand against my mouth,
But yet after the first thrust,
my mind chose and became a colour.
And so whenever I see Oga John,
my mind only sees black.


Mama told me
that I was born with a flower,
she said it was beautiful,
that I needed to keep it safe,
guard it with the clothes I wore:
with skirts never above my knees, 
and long tops that covered my buttocks;
she said no one must see them wiggle,
that it would make men want to steal my flower.

Mama told me
that one day a fine man would marry me,
and only then could I give him my flower,
that it would make him respect and cherish me.

Mama doesn't know
that I gave my flower to the second boy
who said he loved me,
that I told him I loved him too as he took it from me,
while crying his name, each time a different song.

Mama doesn't know
but boys have it too,
she doesn't know about the boys
who told me they loved me
while I took their flowers.

About the Author:

Oyinuche is a poet still new to the block as her works have just begun to enter publication. She writes in a not so traditional but contemporary manner. Oyinuche is a Biomedical science student who loves writing poetry, reading books and listening to music.

Image by Merlin Lightpainting from Pixabay