A face like mine

A face like mine

 I lie in a hospital bed;

No name to my face,

Abandoned babe,

Small and skinny,

Disease infested

Death knocking-

You stop,

Stare

Move on.

But I doubt you’ll forget a face like mine.

I sit at a busy street;

Six year old beggar,

Runny nose,

Lice infested,

Swollen belly,

Hunger biting-

You stare

Walk by.

But I doubt you’ll forget a face like mine.

I stand at the roadside;

Twelve years I’ll make tonight,

Too big for my clothes,

Skinny body, freezing cold

Eyes popping n all,

Scared of the male prowlers

You walk by-

Pity and jeer.

But I doubt you’ll forget a face like mine.

I squat in a seemingly abandoned toilet;

Eighteen years last week,

Metallic hunger down myself,

Little foetus bleeding out-

You see me,

Call the police,

Not the doctors!

Gang up

Beat me.

But I doubt you’ll forget a face like mine.

I sit outside my slum;

Twenty four years old last month,

A limp in my walk,

Broken bones and scars,

Our kids’ hiding-

He’s back home,

Their father!

You whisper,

Point fingers

But I doubt you’ll forget a face like mine.

I’m running away now;

Thirty two years old two months ago,

My children with me,

Nowhere to go

But I’m leaving

The streets my friend…

You despise me

Family wrecker

But I’m leaving-

And I doubt you’ll ever forget a face like mine.

I’m lying on my death bed;

Forty five years of age last November,

My face too old for my age,

My body too frail to fathom,

My grandchildren-

The few that approach me,

They love me!

It’s all that matters.

I’m dying content,

I made peace with my God.

And now- you may forget a face like mine.

Orogot Pamela is the second winner of the BN Poetry Award for 2013. This poem, A Face Like Mine, was deep, gripping, melancholic and soulful. The theme for the 2013 award was Innovation. Orogot wins a fully sponsored trip to the Storymoja Hay Festival in Nairobi alongside cash prize of 300 US Dollars. She also wins autographed copies of  Home Floats in the Distance / ZUHAUSE TREIBT IN DER FERNE, Dr. Susan Kiguli’s second poetry collection which is also bi-lingual, autographed copies of Diaries of a Dead African, by Chuma Nwokolo, Jr., autographed copies of Song of Paradise by Justice Ogoola and autographed copies of Tropical Fish by Doreen Baingana.

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