It is not my making that I’m a maid.
If my parents were alive, it would not be said
That I live at the mercy of another,
Who is neither my father nor my mother?
My likes and dislikes, I’ve thrown away
To embrace the dos and don’ts of everyday.
Like a robot, I do not speak; I don’t have a say,
Even if I want to, my many scars tell me- nay!
She makes me believe I’m a fool
With whips that make the best of tattoos.
Her rods which strike with a thunderclap,
Have on my back, carved the Nigerian map.
Raiment is for Queens, why should I expect it?
The rags, she said, would fetter my wit.
Food is for kings: why should I make such demand?
Even Opapala, she said, is not such a gourmand.
With hungry mouth, I feed the kids fat.
Attending to their shits and fart!
Early to bed, early to rise, is the popular maxim,
But while others snore, the firkins, I fill to the brim!
For long I’ve toiled in this loveless life
And I wonder, how I’ would be as a wife.
Would I another woman’s child curse?
Or with motherly tenderness nurse?
My soul, locked up in a dungeon,
Is burdened by pain, that can’t be removed by any surgeon
But Solace, I’ve found in the story of Joseph;
I know that I’ll not forever be a serf.
…Though now I’m no more than a slave,
Hoping that God may send a Moses to save.
Written by: Okechukwu Obiorah Gideon
Edited by: Kukogho Iruesiri Samson
I am a member of the WRR editorial team.