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!


wmWairimu Mwangi is the CEO of Literature Africa Foundation, a Kenyan NGO that creates, nurtures and encourages a reading culture in African children and youths. She has so far published six books, two of which are approved for use in Kenyan schools by the Kenya Institute of Curriculum Development. Three of her books (Readers) are also approved for use in Ugandan schools by The Ugandan National Curriculum Development & the Ministry of Education and Sports, Uganda. She is also a motivational speaker who delights in inspiring upcoming writers and youths in general.