More Than a Stage | by Shade Mary-Ann Olaoye

you are sitting here
thinking of how life and a firm fist has poked you
in more places than one
you are sitting
and before you a stage undresses
bringing to light
an 8 year old
who mistakenly has your features
everything is yours
the hair, the nose
and worst of all, the grief and terror trapped in the eyes
like the scene of mourning
you can not stand up or move from this act that breaks daily into scenes
each a re run of the former
because this is what your life is wrapped around
how tragic it is that
you become food to an appetite bigger than yours
how tragic
that even when you can’t blink back the tears anymore
the curtain never closes


there are steps for this kind of thing
you sit in class and listen as the teacher speaks
steps to know and stop it when some one wants to…
she pauses, looking for an appropriate word
for minds too young to comprehend (or so she thinks)
hurt you, she finally says

you want to stop her and say you know
that you have been hurt over and over
but you let her continue
answering and questioning in your mind

  1. Don’t go when a stranger calls you
    But what if he isn’t? What if he is your uncle, the one who washes the cars and bathes you before school.

  2. Tell your parents, no matter what.
    But there are so many matters to this. There is sweet and candy, the promise not to tell vow, there is denial and that knowing shadow that says you’ll never be believed

  3. Don’t let anyone touch you down there.
    What if it didn’t start that way? What if he took your hand and touched it on his.

About the Writer

Shade Olaoye

I am Shade Mary-Ann Olaoye


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