Nigeria : Why Do They Hate Me? Poem for a Nigerian Sistah

river

Watch Her Flow
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Mar 22, 2004
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Why Do They Hate Me?
Poem for a Nigerian Sistah

My eyes shift and pan the top of my veil
How shall I defy the contorted faces of bloodthirsty rage
Upon my confession they released the man whose child metamorphs in my womb
Perhaps they will grant him the honor of casting the first stone

Why do they hate me?
Why does the sight of me fill them with visions of death and destruction
My ears twitch with their roars of rage but I refuse to quiver
I refuse to wish I was in America
I hate America
In America the women dance naked on the beaches
While one bare elbow justifies my immediate death
In America a man's fingertips caress the small of a woman's back
As they walk rib to rib without a wedding band
I walk five paces behind the brute I was forced to marry
The joy of American men is to love their women
And with their mouths they worship at the canal of their nativity
The joy of my men is to deny every need or love for me
When an American woman dies her body is dressed and laid carefully in a bed of flowers
I am thrown into a mass grave with my sister widows
No one asks us if we are dead when we are buried
All our life is wrapped up in our husbands
When they die we are dead
I hate America as the dead hate the living
No one loves me and I love no one

I duck the first stone
Whirling up again I remove my veil
Their rage is profound
I remove my head covering
The stones turn to cheese in their fists
In their moment of perplexed rage
I remove all my coverings and stand before them as naked as America

"Is she not a sinner? Has she not utterly blasphemed God?
May Allah smite thee wicked woman with many curses.
A thousand curses on thy naked head"

My sisters are watching. I must speak for them
And for my sons who will one day respect my strength
I know I will not see another sunrise but I will not die in vain
"Allah has no greater curse than the curse of being born a woman of Islam. If I must die then I will die as I was born cursed and naked"
I hold each breast in the palm of each hand
"Which of rhese offends you?
Do you fear that you might return to their comforting sustenance and cease to be men?"
A stone crushes my teeth. Through blood and bone I continue
"Can a man rise above the woman who gave hm life?
If I am a cockroach what are you?"

The stones come
They teach me pain but they do not teach me respect
I do not flinch away
I stand tall--my breast beacons of defiance
Until my broken bones betray me and crumble to the ground
As darkness claims my brain I fling my arms wide
Exposing to full view the things they despise
The things that would set them free
 

watzinaname

Well-Known Member
MEMBER
Oct 4, 2003
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Northeast
I can't do this piece justice in my response, but here goes. To feel unloved and without a voice, must make one feel like the walking dead, and you expressed this ache so well here. Bravo.
 

Bluewater

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Jun 11, 2003
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Hi :wave: welcome
your poem,
your thoughts your feeling
flow on
we reading
can't help but feel
this drop
much love
Peace
BlueWater:heart:
 

Nita

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Feb 9, 2001
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youth volunteer
Welcome welcome river,
Why???Hmm not sure if I have the answer for you, but this poem was very unique. I try to visualize when I read material and the words in this poem opened my mind to a whole nuther world. I love this drop,and I am lQQking to hear much more fro you sister river.
Nita
 

$$RICH$$

Lyon King Admin.
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Mar 21, 2001
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Occupation
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deeply felt and heard sometime it can really be rough but
we all whom hold grace and inner love seem to get out to
a sweeter beings flow on i feel ya
 

river

Watch Her Flow
MEMBER
Mar 22, 2004
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Where the Niger meets the Nile
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Ya'll are so luvin. Ima luv ya back!
 

Joyce

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May 23, 2001
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people
river said:
Why Do They Hate Me?
Poem for a Nigerian Sistah

My eyes shift and pan the top of my veil
How shall I defy the contorted faces of bloodthirsty rage
Upon my confession they released the man whose child metamorphs in my womb
Perhaps they will grant him the honor of casting the first stone

Why do they hate me?
Why does the sight of me fill them with visions of death and destruction
My ears twitch with their roars of rage but I refuse to quiver
I refuse to wish I was in America
I hate America
In America the women dance naked on the beaches
While one bare elbow justifies my immediate death
In America a man's fingertips caress the small of a woman's back
As they walk rib to rib without a wedding band
I walk five paces behind the brute I was forced to marry
The joy of American men is to love their women
And with their mouths they worship at the canal of their nativity
The joy of my men is to deny every need or love for me
When an American woman dies her body is dressed and laid carefully in a bed of flowers
I am thrown into a mass grave with my sister widows
No one asks us if we are dead when we are buried
All our life is wrapped up in our husbands
When they die we are dead
I hate America as the dead hate the living
No one loves me and I love no one

I duck the first stone
Whirling up again I remove my veil
Their rage is profound
I remove my head covering
The stones turn to cheese in their fists
In their moment of perplexed rage
I remove all my coverings and stand before them as naked as America

"Is she not a sinner? Has she not utterly blasphemed God?
May Allah smite thee wicked woman with many curses.
A thousand curses on thy naked head"

My sisters are watching. I must speak for them
And for my sons who will one day respect my strength
I know I will not see another sunrise but I will not die in vain
"Allah has no greater curse than the curse of being born a woman of Islam. If I must die then I will die as I was born cursed and naked"
I hold each breast in the palm of each hand
"Which of rhese offends you?
Do you fear that you might return to their comforting sustenance and cease to be men?"
A stone crushes my teeth. Through blood and bone I continue
"Can a man rise above the woman who gave hm life?
If I am a cockroach what are you?"

The stones come
They teach me pain but they do not teach me respect
I do not flinch away
I stand tall--my breast beacons of defiance
Until my broken bones betray me and crumble to the ground
As darkness claims my brain I fling my arms wide
Exposing to full view the things they despise
The things that would set them free

This poem is profound. I will have to read it again and again. I am truly enlightened on some things.


Looking through the eyes of Nigerian poet.


Joyce
 

angelicsage

Well-Known Member
MEMBER
May 30, 2003
5,322
38
~The hidden library...~
you captured the mindset of many women who are raised in such cultures...
where they are denied the beauty of their womanhood...

oh...and the stoning...

I kept thinking about how historically it was used as a deterant
and the horror of such a punishment...

but I love the way you captured her liberation...not as a martyr
but as a symbol to her sisters and sons...as strength, awareness,
enlightenment...wisdom...all in the form of a *Woman*...

while this piece has an air of sadness...it's POWERFUL...and
effective in its message...Bravo
 

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