No. 2. Poem for IWD 2015 “Body Image”

                          Body Image

My friend Adanma is going to war.

not in her swirly Manchester wax wrap

She’ll be clothed in a khaki bomb- strap.


Her brother used to tell her

Only men went to war.

That women’s breasts were too large

for crouching under branches.

(Adanma daily uproots groundnuts

and blows on ashes to revive her fire).


That they are not strong to carry army packs.

(She piggy-backs her three year old,

and a market load on her head).


And women could never master the workings of a gun,

nor the camouflaging of a tank.

(In five, she can extract dead fowl’s  giblets,

and split spiteful peppers in her teeth.)


My friend Adanma is off to war

not in the gun-toting, ceremonial clothing

sliding under enemy line approaching

equal to a man soldiering

battle scene.

She is going  Chief Captain of Carrying.


The goat her captors will rip apart

over the celebratory victory fire

costs more than her womanly life.

She will have splattered her own people

with the same blood they share.


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