I decided to mimic “The Complaint Of A Forsaken Indian Woman” by Wordsworth but make it my own. I wrote this poem in the perspective of my mother. She has gone through hell and back, however, she kept it together for myself and my siblings. We are from Somalia and we had to leave the country due to the constant warfare that has been going on for decades now. Like the Indian woman, my mother did not have anyone to comfort her as my father died during the time. She had myself and my two older sisters to protect and stay strong for. There had been many times my mother wished death would come and in many instances, it was a relaxing or comforting thought when she had no one else to talk to or comfort her.
Every night before I close my eyes,
I stare up into the sky.
The stars, shining bright
But my mind focuses on the darkness of midnight
The darkness that surrounds my life
conquers all of me, should I end it with a knife?
My tears drip onto my breast,
as he decorates me with bruises on my chest
He lays on me
I want to scream
The blood and lament of my people chill the air
I look around and dead bodies lay everywhere
I close my eyes as I recite prayers in my head
Asking to myself, when am I going to be dead?
Suddenly, thoughts fill my mind
There’s a idiom I never understood.
“I felt all the weight lifted off my shoulder.”
Maybe I understand it, but I can’t really understand it until I feel it.
See, it’s not the words that I can’t define, it’s the concept.
The feeling that I am forsaken, and I’ll never be able to utter the words.
The weight of an African woman is not just her own. Her hips are wide with the struggle of her children, her heart heavy with the tears of her mother, her breasts plump with the rage and death of her husband.
The weight is everywhere, creating a life where looking forward to feeling lighter shoulders is nothing but an impossible dream because that’s an idiom that we can’t reach.
They say women are weak, but who came to document the struggles of an African woman. Stripped of our natural resources, twisted and turned into corruption, and judged for the same standards you mimicked.
We are a product of Mama Africa, a victim of oppression, a fighter against colonization, a keeper of traditions, a storyteller of culture, and a child of God. We are the originals. One of a kind.
So in a way, it’s okay;
We can keep our strength and you can keep your idiom.
Because history repeats itself, karma isn’t a sweet girl, and we have a saying that goes like this: when sleeping woman wakes; mountains move.
Let this be a warning, enjoy your weightless shoulders. We are burdened from head to toe, but only come out stronger.
For the greater battle is waiting ahead. A forsaken African woman in this world, only deserves the best in the next.
This is not a cry for revenge. It’s a promise. The only way the world can feel weightless shoulders is because the weight of the world is on ours.