My name is Ibanujẹ;

I used to cower behind the curtains as blows rained like hail on my mother’s frame

I am Ibanujẹ, I bear the scars from attempting to stop my father’s rage

My pillows have melted from constantly drenching them with my tears

My truth hides within me for my lips are sealed by the memories of his wretched hands on my body

I am Ibanujẹ, motherless for the life he took from her, fatherless for the man I wish he were

My smiles are all but gone for when I try it seems like a death mask

My laughter is hollow and has no soul for life is naught to me but death


My name is Ibanujẹ;

I walk the streets with my head held high and my hair just right

I am Ibanujẹ, I hide my scars with meaningless smiles and tailored strides

My gait is perfect, my jokes are witty and I’m the life of the party

Yet I awake each night with cries of anguish from tortured dreams

I am Ibanujẹ, broken and worn, heart filled with silent screams

I am friend, lover, colleague, neighbor and stranger




*** Ibanujẹ: Yoruba term meaning misery




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