mother misogyny

A Poem

By Toyosi Salami

when I want to go out my mother draws me back

and says, “be careful and don’t board a bus

that is occupied by only men”

this is the only time my mother ever hints

at the danger masculinity poses to women

and the world at large.

other times, she chides female artistes for wearing bum shorts

and blouses that reveal their cleavage

she calls them whores.

she says good women should never be so scarcely dressed in public

that provocative dressing is one of the causes of rape.

because of this I don’t ever tell her about the cleric

I keep mute about my abuser,

partly because my mother idolises him

and partly because I know she will have me to blame

I know this from her words.

when I’m 32 and employed, my mother will tell me my mates are married with four children

she will ask me what I’m still waiting for

maybe then I will finally tell her I am damaged goods

and I can’t be near a man without crumbling