Posted in Poetry

ChildMother and Wife

By Noel A. Ihebuzor

the child as mother

smothers childhood

the murdered mind weeps

when torture is garbed as culture,

a deadening deaf culture

deaf to pleas and protests

pleas of despair

the despair of the innocent,

thrashing like fish  

trapped in a net,

whimpering and weeping

the lonely lament of a lamb,

her neck gripped in the jaws

of a predator, depraved,

blood spurting from ruptured aperture,

victim’s pain and slow death

contrasting with victor’s rapture

the shivering of the struggling lamb

before the slaughterer’s blade,

as dreaded night falls,

in vain searching the dark world

closing in on her for some light

to brighten her bleak plight and

and lift her soul,

finding none


heiress of pain,

fragile limbs grabbed, groped and gripped

by coarse grasping hands,

the repeated shattering pain  as tender

flesh is gashed by hard hot flesh,

the happy husband

invades soft developing chambers

savours with selfish relish tender flesh,

matters little

this maturing and developing frame

now numb

matters little childhood

now broken

Matters least innocence stolen

forever lost

as forced intrusions, crude invasions,

desecrate unfolding sacred spaces

the empty victor’s gain,

the victim’s pain, our collective shame


Now she carries a new life in her, her child,

herself a child, drenched in confusion,

12, 13 seasons ago,

she was like this life just beginning to form,

now daughter of pain,

tied down by the glue cobwebs of tradition, vice-like



Is this meet the sacrifice of the innocent?

Is it meet that marriage mars childhood

mangling a girl child’s today and her tomorrow

destroying her innocence

in the season of her youth

making a mother of one

in need of mothering

smothering her hopes, happiness and health,

freezing rich potentials

limiting possibilities from unfolding

all because fevered callous hands,  

propped by culture selfishly reach out in greed

to harvest and appropriate fruits,

tender fruits plucked in their bud

to feed coarse souls

in collusion with parents

in search of quick gain

on such emptying and wasting plain

deaf to the cries of pain

of childhood smothered,

of dreams denied

** raw…will refine later – the subject is a delicate and very painful one**


Development and policy analyst with a strong interest in the arts and inclusive social change. Dabbles occasionally into poetry and literary criticism!

25 thoughts on “ChildMother and Wife

  1. Noel–this is how you do it. Mine is nothing to the raw power in this. The mother I am wants to…to…oh, Lord, this is awful. Not the poem, of course, but what it describes. As I read this, I imagine my own child, but for the grace of God subjected to this, and wonder why and how this is accepted and tolerated? I am definitely working on a piece involving this daily through the 11th. Well done, Noel. Masterfully done, and I am reblogging.


  2. RAPE disguised by and mutilating the sanctity of marriage. This makes me sick. How you got through writing this N, not to mention seeing it happening is beyond my ken. This has the raw power and complete and utter sadness as only one who has seen it can attest. How can it be. My heart weeps for these children and my blood boils at the parents and rapists that are ‘husbands’


  3. Thanks, Susan and Rhonda. Yes, I have seen this, seen the pain and the sense of powerlessness on the face of its victims, their spirits broken, their young bodies abused, their dreams shattered, their rights to education taken away, their emotional development aborted, their childhood truncated and then stolen with the connivance of their parents; yes, seen their struggle to find some meaning to lives that have become perpetual slavery, saltless and empty. And the risks and tragedies in child marriage are immense – education blighted, VVF, trauma, self pity….. Child marriage is flesh trade packaged as culture and nothing can justify a practice that is so odious and dehumanizing!


  4. So true, a raw naked kind of truth and so succinctly conveyed. Thanks Uncle Noel for sharing your thoughts and your experience on this ( what you saw). I guess child marriage is kind of a global phenomenon that we must all come together and put an end to. From Africa to Asia to the Arab and Western world, it cries out to humanity for help and we must not close our ears to the cries of these innocent child wives and mothers. It is dehumanizing and there is no valid reason for destroying our children’s innocence even before they get a handle on it.
    Thanks again for sharing your thoughts on this..


  5. Thanks for reminding us of this terrible practice. We should conitune the fight against it till it is eradicated. Nice poetic rendition as a way of waking us all for the struggle.


  6. inhuman, injustice, inconsistent with these innocent children trusting parental and societal judgement…..yet never in the best interest of anyone, surely an eyesore for everyone and a crime against humanity!


  7. Noel,this has so much touched my heart to imagine what our own communities and worse parents will let their own beloved girl children go through at the expense of little pennies and not forgetting the beautiful future that lies ahead for their girl child that they have shattered into pieces. As a teacher I have been a witness to girl children being forced to leave school to be sex slaves so as to be fend for the family, this is no different to child bride or child mother, as their childhood is taken away from them and they are initiated into a world that they arent mentally or even physically prepared for. We need more fathers,brothers and brave men like you Noel to champion and be the voice that can be heard.

    Thanks again Noel..Stay blessed


    1. Debbie, any act/institution which demeans a human in any way, be it sex slavery, child marriage, child labor etc is bad and we should all speak up with one voice to condemn it and act collectively to abolish it. Remain blessed.


  8. Dear Noel, Congratulations for the initiative,
    This tells exactly what happens in our communities, we must continue to fight and carry through.


  9. Child marriage, terrible inhumanity it is and must be condemned by us all. Thank you Uncle for the heart-touching poetic rendition. Edmond


    1. Thanks, General Obi. High level support such as yours is reassuring as it means that we can quickly move up to securing the political will to overcome this plague! Imela, ezigbo nwannam!


  10. I found this really moving. Thank you for highlighting the plight of these poor girls. The exploitation of young women happens all over the world still, even in the 21st century: here in the UK we have a couple of horrifying scandals unfolding in which young women have used in the most terrible ways. Peace, power and light to all those caught up in this horror and to you too.


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