By Noel A. Ihebuzor
the child as mother
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,
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,
this maturing and developing frame
matters little childhood
Matters least innocence stolen
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**
25 thoughts on “ChildMother and Wife”
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.
Reblogged this on Susan Daniels Poetry and commented:
Now…THIS is how you talk about child brides.
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’
Rhonda, it is painful, it is sinful and we must all work together to bring it to an end!
Leaves me shaken and shaking.
Me too, yes, me too!
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!
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..
Imela, Kate. The empty faces of these child wives and the smug self assured grins of their adult husbands still haunt me!
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.
Your Excellency, Thanks for your comment and support. The voices and buy-in of Ambassadors such as yours will certainly be very useful in this crusade.
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!
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
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.
Dear Noel, Congratulations for the initiative,
This tells exactly what happens in our communities, we must continue to fight and carry through.
Thanks, Alexandrine. We must all work together to bring it to an end!
Child marriage, terrible inhumanity it is and must be condemned by us all. Thank you Uncle for the heart-touching poetic rendition. Edmond
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!
Child marriage robs girls of their lives, innocence and joy. We must put an end to it!
Yes, Jax, Child marriage is bad and must be ended every where!
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.
Thanks for your comments. Yes, child marriage is a sin and a crime.
May you continue to engage and to write beautiful poetry.
Reblogged this on FEATHERS PROJECT and commented:
#ChildnotBride: Poetry from Noel Ihebuzor