Walking a Friend Through, and Finally Out Of, an Abusive Marriage

by Wairimu Mwangi


I have been observing you; yes you,
Your beautiful eyes almost always overshadowed by eye bugs.
I’m no psychic but I can read pain; pain in your eyes;
Pain untold, pain unspoken.
I heard of the black dot in the palm of the hand in the grapevine;
And I saw the mark on your palm.
The silent cry;
A muffled cry when in the dead of the night he turns you into an African toom toom;
African toom toom; to slap, to kick and to bite;
To bite, oh yes! I have seen the bite marks on your arm;
His drunk self, forcing himself on you night after night;
Your once flawless skin now full of blemish;
Straight gait turned into a stooper of self-pity;
Self-pity for things you have control over;
Control; Control over your life!
Rise up, woman!
You are wonderfully made, let him not make you look fearfully made;
Fearfully in how you walk, how you talk, how you look;
How you know not how to smile.
Smile. Rise up, woman! Set your soul free
Freedom to control your life;
If it’s not working, take a walk out,
A walk to build back your self-esteem;
Some things are meant to be others not meant to;
And the black dot strategically painted on your beautiful palm
Tells me it’s not meant to be.
It is time to rise up, woman!


wairimuWairimu Mwangi is a writer and the founder of the Literature Africa Foundation. Her educational textbooks are used in schools across Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Rwanda, and Ghana. She is passionate about quality education for all and believes that without books or material to read, literacy suffers and when literacy suffers, opportunities decline. She enjoys mentoring youth, storytelling, travelling, reading and meditating.