I’M NOT ‘THE CHIBOK GIRLS’

 

I’m not ‘The Chibok girls’

I’m Aisha’s daughter, her  third child

Tomorrow is my birthday and I want chocolates

Not a photo op with men in manes,

Men with Kalashnikovs for walking sticks

 

 I’m not ‘The Chibok girls’

I’m a student

Savouring pages of vintage books

Swotting now to ease sweating, at testing times

I dominate the libraries like ‘matter’ –

‘anything that has weight and occupies space’, we’re taught

 

I eat the freedom pie

You need to see the outspoken countenance of once reticent reagents

on mounting the podium of my pipettes,

 Beakers,

And  round-bottom flasks.

 

I’m not ‘The Chibok girls’

I’m Luka’s twin sister

Raised by farm-hardened hands

I thirst for the taste

of his bragging breath

Mingled with our mum’s  praying sweat

I’m a schoolgirl

At home in giggling company –

Joan’s and Maryam’s and Hannah’s and Hannatu’s and Jummai’s and Grace’s –  

 

I’m a girl

I wear no toga

only my name tag

and – atimes –  a sanitary towel.

I’m not a bargaining chip

I’m not an index, some indicator

of bad governance or good governance or no governance!

 

I’m  not ‘The Chibok girls’

I’m a girl, not a chapter in history

I’m not someone’s defence shield

I’m not a tool in the gloved hands of a martyr-maker

Only the mouthpiece in a flute, my mum’s mirth-maker.

 

I’m no Pearl Habour

Not a trigger for a reprisal zinger.

I’m not someone’s prize:

What manner of conqueror gloats with a minor’s pubic heist?

I crave no place in folklore

But if I must enter it, it will be by my derring-do

Not that of hooded men

I shall not enter history from the pity page

I count my years as pedestals of dreams.

 

  • Anaele Ihuoma
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