previous | next

The Woman
A minute ago I came from the well
Where young women drew water like myself
My body was weary and my heart tired.
For a moment I watched the stream that rushed before me;
And thought how fresh the smell of flowers,
How young the grass around it.
And yet again I heard the sound of duty
Which ground on me – made me feel aged
As I bore the great big mud container on my head
Like a big painful umbrella.
Then I got home and cooked your meal
For you had been out drinking the pleasures of the flesh
While I toiled in the fields.
Under the angry vigilance of the sun
A labour shared only by the bearings of my womb.
I washed the dishes; yours
And we swept the room we shared
Before I set forth to prepare your bedding
In the finest corner of the hut
Which was bathed by the sweet smell of dung
I had this morning applied to the floors
Then you came in,
In your drunken lust
And you made your demands
When I explained how I was tired
And how I feared for the child – yours – I carried
You beat me and had your way
At that moment
You left me unhappy and bitter
And I hated you
Yet tomorrow I shall again wake up to you
Milk the cow, plough the land and cook your food,
You shall again be my Lord
For isn’t it right that woman should obey,
Love, serve and honour her man?
For are you not the fruit of the land?