No.16 Poems for International Women’s Day 2015

 The Petition

Bride-price me

for my skin is glowing

I shine in the sun

of the Harmatten noon

like the Palm Oil Maiden

who melts

to a pool of scented balm

                                                              Palm Oil Daughter

Bargain for me

for my thighs are caressed

and plumped

by overeating of pounded yam

and odoriferous stew

Slip your hands down the round

of my shoulders and neck

I was spread over

with cocoa butter

and softened to touch

These arms you examine

are firm

from river side slapping

on washday lines

See my long strong fingers

how they twist and twine

my coil-sprung hair

Choose me

for I can measure in my hand

the amount of salt

for the meat

and the strength of the chilli pepper

by its heat

how to sit in silence

when the man eats

and the crickets sing

My skin is deep brown

in the yellow cling

of the kerosene light

Take me

for I smile

closed mouth in the night.


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