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Today, I Cried

Today I looked rape in the eye
Saw her twisted mind at work
Smelled her putrid scent in the purity of a little girl
Saw what it does to the heart of an innocent child

Today I saw the devil in the HIV prophylactic
I heard him in the scream that came from the painful needle
No, I assure you I was not watching TV
Unfortunately it was all too real
It was all too real

Today I held the hand of an angel
Patted her in a vain effort to comfort her
Hugged her lifeless body close to me
All through this my eyes refused to meet hers
Somehow I felt I had lost my right to stand tall
I'd relinquished my right as a friend and a sister
Why wasn't I there to protect her
Why didn't I keep this five-year-old safe
My shame was mirrored in her eyes
As they darted from one end of the room to the other

Today I saw the face of rape
Smelled it in the scent of a public hospital
Heard it in the resounding scream as the speculum
Probed and swabbed as only cold detached steel can
Invading her delicate insides
Raping her again and again
Today, I buried my head in shame
And cried

Written by Akinyi


Mr. Africa Poetry Lounge