Tchalê Figueira 

He washes his hands in streams she has made.
Rivers flowing beneath her eyes have
Salted the land with the acrid taste of her
Hate.
Wells have risen to pool within her,
catching the cries that would speak her
Hurt.
He washes his hands in streams she has made.
She dreams sonic dreams with high decibels to end tyranny,
With a speak to raise armies and wage wars.
He washes his hands in streams she has made,
Ignoring the pleas of a maiden body slain
In her shame, exposed against her will.
Half drawn clothes,
Untidy bundles of blood
Laid to waste for a rush.
She has made rivers and lakes bitter with the salt of her tears.
Beneath her breast a molten hold burnishes the light she once had
Into a golden strong finish
For those that have laid her to waste.
This is for the mother
Who has stitched another morsel
into one dish of edible corn for our daily bread.
Her who has copied the hands of the creator
And pasted onto the drawing board a new piece to the picture
So that girls everywhere can smile.
She is the surgeon who has carried a knife to battles
To cut open wounds and piece them back to their proper places,
Them skins and flesh scurrying to obey her command.
She has done so.
She has carried life so.
She has melded pen and paper to tell a story,
Not worrying.
Whether the caves within her bring forth life or death
Life or death life or death,
The ringing bells toll and call all humankind to rest.
But she does not stop taking life from death
life from death life from death,
Building bricks upon bricks
stitching together another life in a war zone.

 

****************

Post Image by Tchalê Figueira via Manufactoriel

About the Author:

Portrait-MuchemwaElizabeth Muchemwa was born in Chirumhanzu, Zimbabwe. She is a poet, writer and theatre director. Elizabeth won second place in the 2014 BN Poetry Award for this poem. She has been performing Poetry since 2006. She has performed at Festivals like HIFA, Intwasa Arts Festival and Protest Arts International Festival, in addition to participating in poetry events like House of Hunger Poetry Slam and Sistaz Open Mic.

Tags: , , , ,

I hold a doctorate in English from Duke University and recently joined the Marquette University English faculty as an Assistant Professor. I love teaching African fiction and contemporary British novels. Brittle Paper is the virtual space/station where I play and experiment with ideas on how to reinvent African fiction and literary culture.

No comments yet.

Leave a Reply

I hold a doctorate in English from Duke University and recently joined the Marquette University English faculty as an Assistant Professor. I love teaching African fiction and contemporary British novels. Brittle Paper is the virtual space/station where I play and experiment with ideas on how to reinvent African fiction and literary culture.

Subscribe to Blog via Email

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Archives

#CainePrize2017 | Review of Lesley Nneka Arimah’s Who Will Greet You at Home? | By Socrates Mbamalu

brittle paper reviews (5)

Lesley Nneka Arimah was born in the UK and grew up mostly in Nigeria. Her story, “Light,” won the 2015 Commonwealth […]

The Labors of the Months: Of Work and Its Refuseniks | By Rotimi Babatunde

work naija vocation

  In October 2016, we published Enter Naija: The Book of Places, an anthology of creative nonfiction, photography, poetry, digital […]

Imbolo Mbue’s Behold The Dreamers Picked for Oprah’s Book Club

oprah mbue

Imbolo Mbue’s Behold the Dreamers has been selected by Oprah Winfrey for her Book Club. The media mogul revealed this […]

Chinelo Okparanta’s Under The Udala Trees Named Among the 25 Most Impactful LGBTQ Works of the Last 20 Years

chinelo okparanta

Chinelo Okparanta’s Under the Udala Trees has been listed as one of the 25 most impactful works of LGBTQ literature […]

Babishai Poetry Festival 2017 | Interview with Mugabi Byenkya, Author of Dear Philomena

BABISHAI 2017 FLYER PURPLE

As part of the countdown to the 2017 Babishai Poetry Festival in Uganda, the organisers are conducting a series of interviews […]

Teju Cole Releases Fourth Book Blind Spot | Read An Excerpt

teju cole--blind spot

Teju Cole does not repeat himself, which is why his new book, Blind Spot, published two weeks ago, is something unprecedented for […]