FEMALE GENITAL MUTILATION
At the first crow of the cock we rose
Chilled to the bone and scared to death
Every step was taken with difficulty
because what awaited us was beyond discussion
No one could cry out – it was a taboo
and at the same time the consequences were very expensive.
You wouldn’t want to be tagged the village coward-would you?
The customary bath at the river motivated one to wish to die instantly
The water was below zero degrees you would say.
As the trail of women sang with joy
Celebrating the initiation to womanhood, I cried my heart out
I loathed this rite of passage.
The old women with sunken eyes, drooping skin, shaky hands
and wicked smiles showing countable teeth stood before us waiting
Waiting and ready to pounce.
The sight of the sharp razors in their shaky hands
sent my heart to my mouth
If death was coming, that would have been perfect timing.
I tried to scream but my throat was dry
No words would come out
I pleaded with my eyes, begging them not to
but tradition must be followed
The pain was unbearable
I bled so much I do not know how I stayed alive
My legs were so weak they wouldn’t carry me
My insides hurt so bad I could not take it
it drained me slowly
Then things became blurred and I lost consciousness.