Second prize, 2019 Makewana Poetry Competition

 

Don’t tell my mother

I am not a virgin 

Don’t tell me you knew either 

I only just told you 

Don’t tell her I lost my virginity on the same bed she used to tuck me in as a child 

Don’t tell my mother I opened my body first and not my mind to a man 

Then I acted surprised when he left me for another who did the same 

Please don’t tell my mother I was a fool for infatuation more than once 

That I frequently misspelled L-O-V-E as L-U-S-T

Don’t tell my mother I fell hard for a boy and his pick-up lines

When I was supposed to cross the road when I saw one coming my way

Don’t tell my mother my fantasies turned into experiments 

Deviant acts being desired over decades

Things I recreated from television that evoked emotional responses 

The senses in my young body tingled

Fires of raging hormones 

Discovering erogenous zones

Outside of marital homes

Even invading some

Don’t tell my mother

I crossed the line she drew by rubbing it out, jumping over it, ignoring it and twisting it

Don’t tell my mother self-control lost the battle to desire’s control 

Don’t tell my mother I thought was too righteous for one night stands until I wasn’t 

Don’t tell my mother my synapses fire with thoughts of fornication 

At any time and any place

How can they not when sex is sold in everything

Don’t tell my mother I was almost like her until I wasn’t 

Don’t tell my mother these sexy secrets are actually burdening bondages 

The other youth and myself accessorize our traumas with

Don’t tell my mother I was too afraid of loneliness I never tried to be alone 

Don’t tell my mother all my kinks and tricks

Otherwise the innocent little girl she sees might become dirty and tainted in her eyes 

And we both can’t have that 

Don’t tell my mother I have sinned with my thoughts, hands, lips and dreams

 

 

            My body lost its glory each time I succumbed to temptation

            Don’t tell my mother I accepted that impurity was humanity’s course

            and I served myself a full plate

            Don’t tell my mother I still face the consequences of surrendering to sheets

            Don’t tell my mother otherwise she might read this poem to all the mothers, aunties and sisters

           And I am not ready to know how my actions rate against their expectations

 

          Tell my mother I want to the courage to tell my daughter

          All the things I can never ask her about her youth

         All the things I can never tell my mother about mine

          So herstory doesn’t have to repeat itself

 
 
 

 

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