by Ee'da

You became a total stranger when I became a teenager

Somewhere between burgeoning chest, hairy legs,

Awkward curiosity about the boys and the bees,

You were someone who always seemed to 

Be able to stand between me

and my happiness


It’s funny how…

the bad memories

can erase all the good ones

It’s funny how…

we hold on tight to the bad ones

So we can keep being angry,

And keep having good reason to


I know there were times when we were happy,

But I can’t seem to remember it

Somewhere between crayons and breasts,

I became your enemy


Then there were

cancer cells moving through

The lymph systems of my yesterdays

Destroying healthy tissues stratified with

our laughter and  intimate moments

I’m like an archaeologist,

 Bereft of treasures

Yet desperate to unearth

Pieces of…


You picking me up

Lifting me to sky

so I could reach out and wrap cumulonimbus cape

around me like a mighty superhero,

diving off the edge of your brown feet towers,

gliding  into the skydance

of your footsteps.



I’ve only wanted to love you

Because out the millions and billions of daddies in the world

You were mine…


But after many attempts of diving deep

into bloodshot oceans

of your eyes..

Hopeful for warmth and never finding it,

A little voice, in the little me


started to echo whispers of forgetting,

Of just not caring of

the times when we were pals



Somewhere between surviving and living

your amour grew tougher,

as your heart grew weaker


I didn’t know how hard it must’ve been

To wake up at ‘men’s hour ‘

And walk to the battlefield of the workplace

Trading life force for prejudices and pay checks

They stole nature from your brow, planting creases

between them, where my kisses should have been


Some mornings, when the alarm clock rang

I would see your feet poking out of the

blanket, shaking furiously

having a standoff with your mind

Challenging that day, to be THE day that you would just quit

But you kept going,

Because destiny as choice

just did not exist in your vocabulary


I was too young to understand to

the depth of institutional

racism on a man’s psyche,

I was just a kid

Watching sadness-shaped cartoons

 crawl out your workboots

 creeping into the living room to have dinner with

this family, uninvited


You beat her

Imprinted indigo rings around her eyes,  

Launched ballistic missiles into the pillars of this home

In an attempt to control,

 to reclaim your power as a man,

to demand the respect that was stolen at your workplace

You say nothing but silence occupied

the air like in a gas chamber

Like mirrors neurons firing neurosis, she retaliates

With tongue tipped in plutonium warheads


Stuck between enemy lines,

We took cover under the bed from the crossfire

trapped in a war zone

but confused as to who the enemies were



Now all I can remember is

the deafening silence

of broken glass,seconds, minutes,

after it had been smashed,

like spilled milk gone bad,

curdling pieces of stifled words,

and knotted tummies


Never inflict violence on a woman

No matter how much you think she deserves it

No matter how she cunningly provokes your anger

Just to get some energy from you

Just to get you to gaze or even glare into her eyes

So she can feel like she at least, still exists

Beyond the cups of coffee she perfectly brews

to gain your affection 


Hurt people, hurt people

No one ever taught you to be the man I needed you to be

Told you that a pen or the heart is mightier that the fist

If I could’ve hugged and cradled the 10 year old you

in my arms, I would’ve stroked your hair

And told you it was ok to cry,

To be soft and vulnerable


Just as much a victim of patriarchy as I was,

You showed love in a language

I didn’t understand

you dropped it into the sweat

that fashioned  the bread you put on our table

Dyed your love into the fabric, stitched it into the lining of

My school uniforms

Embedded your love in school fees, with bills paid

And rollerblades


You put your love everywhere around me

But to the little girl

your temper spoke louder than your actions

And I have never been good at treasure hunts


I failed to find your messages hidden beneath my warm bed,

between textbooks, or in the pocket

of that sparkly dress you bought me

But to be honest, there came a time

When I stopped looking for your love

and I started plotting for my escape


When did you start believing,

That all women can’t be trusted..

Raising me to fear what I will inevitably



So this girl left for Australia

with a backpack full of dreams,

The calcification of words unspoken,

made bones stronger, my shoulders perfectly

Sculptured by struggles,


My rebellion

became my saving grace

Somewhere along this journey             

I became a leader

Where I could’ve been just a statistic.


Now I am Woman, Fearless at most times

I finally found the treasure you had hid under my sleep

In my dreams, your sweat metabolized as my possibilities

Time carved you back into my heart

You are more beautiful to me than ever before


I know you did the best that you could

With what little u had

Hardworking blue-collared men had no time for

Yoga, healing sessions and therapy

Wounded boys

Grow up to be broken men

No one ever taught you to be the man I needed you to be


I love you


I remember now…


All those times you had told me that I could be anything that I wanted to be

How could I have forgotten you had said that to me?