I am a Woman [performed]

This piece was exclusively performed at Pen Powered Mic I on 31 May 2014. It’s a piece that was written to be read, so if you’d like to record your rendition of the piece and send it to me (email me via the contact form), I may post it as a feature right here on this blog. – LY.


I am a woman.

In-built with double crosses
coiled chains of my being
I’m female.
A bearer of life’s burdens
and the burden of those burdens,
I’m a carrier.
With a womb that’s meant to bear
more than the next generation,
I birth
and rebirth in my cycle
of being bloodless,
letting blood,
and being free of red stains.

I feel stained.

With the titles thrown upon me,
can I be clean?
A whore, chick, and base satisfaction
on legs, can I be redeemed?
To be held higher than the glances
even when I stood still:
a crown of black swathed in reams of ebony
I could see
yet he thought he had a right
to see more of me.

I’m too loud.

Lips must be clamped shut,
sewn tight to be clean.
Ears must not hear
my screams,
and eyes should not open
for me to be seen
I’m a woman.
Silenced my own existence,
my silence is deafening
I’ve been made small.
Not even my mirror recognises
my reflection, and I reflect
on lines drawn that I can’t cross.
Must not cross
ones with in-built double crosses
must fall,
only then can men feel tall.

Because I’m a woman.

A mere slab of meat
to be used,
I was once told
to expect to be abused.
It’s my fault
as I call for attention
to be hurt. To love
with my heart hanging on my sleeve
am I naïve?
To believe I deserve protection
not because I’m weak
but my prime warden
was a man
who could teach me to be strong
so I can be heard
without being labelled a rebel
and be seen
without being labelled a temptress
and be known
for the sparkle of my crown
to hold my head high
and assume my position
as a queen.

Because I
am a woman.

© LaYinka Sanni, May 2014.


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