Dusk dawn by Waruguru Nyatha Wa Kiai (Kenya)
We walked with our heads bowed
Hands firmly pressed on our butterfly stomachs
We rolled like dead wood, not even once did we sway our hips
How did they know?
We walked on our toes in fright
Our feet never crushed an egg shell
We were silent than the wind
Who told them?
We cemented our breasts with mud
Clogged our vaginas with cow dung
Cut our hair and stopped smiling
Who betrayed us?
We never danced to the drumbeats
Our eyes never sparkled like the sun
We have always held our breath
Never have we lived!
When they chased us down the stream
And slid their hands on our thighs
When they dipped us in water
And discovered our breasts
Was it you who whispered
That we are women?