The crime was the form she’d appeared.
A rose that sprouts yet unworthy of pride;
An unanswered prayer ridden with riddles.
“She isn’t the torch bearer,” they mused.
“She’s just another flower by the roadside,
Awaiting to be plucked by strange hands
Into foreign and far climes, and forgotten.
A house filled with them is set on oblivion.
A quiver filled with them is not strength
But trade and goods on the market stalls.”
Set into the world created with testosterone.
Shackled by the chauvinistic chains of cultures,
Clobbered by the maleficent hands of traditions,
Demonized by saintly speeches and sacred lore,
Looked upon with scorn in matters cerebral
But favoured at the pleasantness of her skin,
Pleasurably when lust is set at the loins.
She’s set as a prize to be won and kept in the locker.
She’s the voice long held by the throat
Yet her words screaming for liberation
From the repressive depth of dark ages
Kept surging out in unrelenting whispers.
She’s a rose untended in the heat to wilt
Yet blossoms with sweet fragrance untainted.
Fragrance of strength, hope and tenacity;
Of a will that defies the drought and trampling feet.
On her back men are borne in strength and love,
On her back cities and kingdoms were built,
On her back pillars of households stand erect,
On her back our livelihood springs.
To the girl, the lady, the wife and the mother,
To the dream that shall never taste of death,
To the hope that shines brighter than the sun,
To the reality beholding our eyes
To the beautiful fragrance seizing our breaths in appreciation,
To the girl-child whose eyes shall speak of hope
And hope assured.
My heart shall be the altar of your adoration
My mind the veneration of your essence
For you are a rose that will always flourish
In my poetry and prose.
© Adeoye Adetoba