By Joyce Ashuntantang

My daughter, you tell me you did not fall from a tree

You have a father, and you want his name

And so today you carry a piece of paper with

A new name, a flash light of identity

They say I am a good woman

Because I do not tell you how your father laughed

At the love that brought him into my thighs

And hung my hymen like a pendant on his neck

They say I am a real African woman

Because I do not tell of my nine month agony

His mother daily mocking my mother at the market place

Saying his son is no dog to fall for trash like me

They say my stomach is a guarded store

Because I do not tell you that my brain

Could find x even in the absence of y

But his P made me a “slut” fit for no school

They say I have the brain of a tortoise

Because I allowed your father to drive that big car

Through our family’s honor and pain

In exchange for your visa into “bush”

They say you must be grateful to me

Because I gave up my life for yours to be

But my daughter, a paper is a paper

Your identity is woman. Someday!

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