‘Know the whole story, judge not by the days

Or truth will be misplaced’.

The prettiest face I have ever seen

A heart full of warmth

And her skin very friendly

Her laughter makes the world go round

Her strength brings life to souls

My mother, whom I sat and watched cry

She was indeed a warrior in a sheep clothing

Her life was not always full of colors

But she was a black gold virtuous woman

My love for her was beyond any man’s understanding.

There was a time things seemed out of place

Quite hard to explain for it was too dramatic a reality

But what was clear? Father and mother were at war

No days came without the house rising in uproar

As father threw mother’s clothing out into the cold wind

Things grew more intense when they began chasing after each other like cats and dogs

Mother became a daylight thief as she took to the veranda to get out of the house

One day, a lion came in form of a family member to bite her finger off

She almost lost it; through the weakness I fed her little grains of rice

Home where they say is safe became a nightmare

My village was a disastrous zone as they treated her as though an outcast.

Another day, Father came home furious with anger needing to hit something

And mother became the victim

She was broken into pieces, her emotions totally disfigured

Mother was loosing it and her whole kind of person was changing.


I watched my mother

Cry all night and day

Her tears soft and pure as though life had snatched her good radiance

She had been stripped off her dignity

By a violent possessed creature called ‘father’

Her pride stolen away by ‘family’,

I despised the disgust look her face formed into when she arose to a new day, everyday

I longed so much with compassion in my tender age

That the days would end faster

And the internal troubles would cease.

Mother will sneak out in clothes of shame with a pretense of glow

They thought they knew but they were truly only deceived.


I had only old worn out rags to put on,

Meat torn among my siblings and me for satisfaction

Or the days we had to plead with neighbors to give us a little out of their water

We were like beggars with the pleasure of shelter and beds.

My father even with his shadow and character of a masquerade was no better,

For he drove round the edges of Lagos City in a far too old vehicle to make a living

Or the day, my mother washed her colleague’s underwear to make it through the day.

There were also days I was chased out of school

Maltreated by relatives who were nothing but against us.

We had to write letters to mother has father’s behavior warranted an immediate action

My family was falling out of a place and I was still only growing up

I could barely focus in life as it had been scattered with worries of never seeing mother again.


Nature became pretense to me as I had tangled my life with it

I desired to be happy

I longed for things to be happy, as the vision of a happy family grew more rampant

Each time something destructive occurred at home.

I prayed at a very little age under the scorching sun

As my feet bled to scars

What was wrong? No one could tell

I asked God to come down and do what seemed out of place in a positive light.

At night, I will wrap myself under the skinny arms of my sister

As I folded my body to shield it away from cold

After years of yearning to be taken away

From the valley to the mountain top,

I realized they were lucky and I am just starting

To feel the warmth of true comfort

Mother and father became two peas in a pod

Life could not be any better.

My family grew from grass to grace

Broken glass to a solid foundation

It falls back on me

As my memory was still young to capture everything

Because the moments you think it is over

It suddenly comes like a flash back in a story telling

Just like a night, I crawled onto my father’s bed to have a good night rest

He pounced me as though I was a stranger

Immediately I thought all hell had come down as I began to scream through the thick air

Mother ran to my aid and I fell into her light arms of comfort,

I could not look father in the eyes, as all I saw was fear for him and me.

There were times after the past incidents, father acted as my hero

Like when a car hit me, threw me up and slammed me back to the ground

Or when I had the worse nightmare that almost took my life.

After the changing period, he became as sweet as an orange, as soft as a banana.

Though, through the entire plight it seemed impossible for my family to exist beyond then


Let me enjoy what I was denied

If I am spoilt, my life deserves it

Let my rough and hard days of hustle fade with time.

Let me breathe a new kind of air.

Time is going, time I forgive

Today was not in any chapter of yesterday’s book

But today realistically exists.

Photo Credit: Adisak

Bibiana Ossai© 2015

No Thoughts on The Woman Who Bore Me

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