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