by Tamanda Kanjaye

Second prize winning poem of the 2020 Makewana’s Daughters Competition


Little Boy,


I know you’ve been fed a toxic meal Of toughening up and never caring Of taking every single blow

Without ever sharing.



You’ve licked lessons from edges of knives On what makes a man strong

And you thought they were filling you up When they were starving you all along.


But I can see the bile in your throat From having to hold your tears back I can see your heart and all the blood Seeping from every single crack


You’re gagging on all that poison


And you’re afraid nobody understands But please come into my embrace

And heave your afflictions in my hands.


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