#75. A Letter from Yonder

 

Adorable Adaora, Adanneya, Adannaya

Keeper of my future, daughter of my heart

I pray my words, wrapped in the winds

Blow gently and find you keeping well

I hear your legs are beginning to swell

All that kicking is bound to take its toll

Him kicking impatiently on the inside

And him kicking cruelly on the outside

And with you walking all day on tip toes

Afraid of the looming pain of contraction

And I know of the hidden things you fear

You start at the sound of footsteps near

The wispy, pungent smell of the alcohol

The staggering walk of a lazy, waka ‘bout

Do not come to my grave, weeping in whispers

Shedding silent, sad tears lest he hears

I am with you child, in every breath you draw!

 

Be patient, daughter, soon the time we draw near

You will be free of that heavy, round band

The elders have spoken, the cowries returned

you will never fall under those raised hands

We’re preparing your homecoming, Adannaya

First things first, let this pregnancy safely birth

The first time is quite a shock, as you’ll find

Ancestors gone before will see you through

For you are our one and only hope to live on.

 

Be brave through the tears, tearing and the bleeding

Push! Push! With fire as if you would the enemy

Breathe in, commune with me through the stitches

Each thread holds together skin forcefully pierced

You will survive and finally be healed of your wounds

You may think these other branded, secret scars

will last forever and never be erased from your soul

but you must be brave and be open to love again

And in time the marks will slowly heal and fade away.

 

Dear daughter of my youth, witness of my memories

Custodian of my future, proof of my earthly existence

Go to the land of the spirits and wrestle them down

You will go there a girl and come back with two souls

For the elders and spirits say that when a child is born

a mother is born too; mother and child both brand new

You’ll both behold each other as new creatures at birth

Only then will I, your mother, finally find peace in death

Acharugo nwam, be patient, soon your peace will come.

(c) Juliet ‘Kego Ume-Onyido 2015 (All rights reserved).

2 thoughts on “#75. A Letter from Yonder

  1. Oh my goodness. This is sooo therapeutic. In Botswana there are just escalating numbers of abortions. And i am the clinical social worker in charge of the gynecology ward. I wonder how much could change in their lives if this poem went viral today. I can just imagine the gestures that you would make to this poem. You have a way of bringing your poems to life on stage.

    Like

    • Juby, it’s always a gift to have someone connect with the poems I share. Often, it takes me a while to know what’s it’s really about and the meanings/interpretation changes each time I read them. With all poetry, I have come to realize that whatever the words means to each of us is valid and perfect for wherever we are on our life’s journey. Thanks again and I look forward to enjoying your work too. PS: I’m going to be recording some of my poems, so you’ll get to see them come alive. 🙂 In the words of the great Maya Angelou, “Words are words on paper, you need to add your voice to bring them to life.”

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