A long time ago we cultivated a series of poetry (6 pieces to signify six days of the week) on the various forms molestation has taken place around us (with or without the knowledge of the victim). It was a study of society and a hard poke at the things we term as societal norms and how they affect us deeply at the core of our humanity.  We intended this kind of poetry to be in form of a conversation between the victim and a member of the society who they have opened up to and is meant to stand up for them, their reactions are what we have tried to translate into poetry, in relation to how society handles such cases. Hopefully, on the seventh day, we will have a guest writer share his or her view on this subject.

Were you molested?

(Them, You)

“Which one be say your husband rape you?

You’re the first woman

In the history of marriages

Don’t be ridiculous, abeg.

He is your husband, he owns you.

No such thing as marital-rape

Your job is to satisfy

Sexually, whenever he wants.

Don’t let people hear

Else they look strange.

Okay, okay, let me hear

What happened?

Oh… that was your fault, my sister,

Yes,

Because you refused

What he felt was rightfully his

What he paid for

In bride price

 

Well sorry,

The eye wound go clear

But next time

Give it to him,

To avoid a punch

Wringing of hands

Taking by force.”

 

Mama never said not being able to say no

Because you didn’t feel like,

Stressed and tired from work,

Headaches,

House chores,

You can’t say no.

Nobody said even on your mood blood

The nasty feeling

Spasms in your belly

Like a struck jagged knife

Still, you couldn’t say no if he asked.

It brings bad blood.