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,


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  poetry by prolific African poets, 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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