Editor's ChoiceMusingsPoetry

Guilty

“Guilty or not guilty?” the judge said
But how can I pledge guilty
Without knowing what I’m accused of
How can I pledge guilty
for another man’s mistake
How can I pledge guilty
for my mother’s heat
How can I pledge guilty
for my father’s hormones.
Guilty or not guilty

So I said, “Not guilty.”
“Not guilty? How come?”
But you’re a bastard, how come?
You’re illegal, how come?
You’re a disgrace, how come?
Worst still, you’re a dreadful mistake
And how come you claim not guilty?

Everyone tagged me guilty
Even before they knew my sex
My grandma tagged me guilty
Even before she saw the color of my eyes
My uncles tagged me guilty
Even before they saw the dimple on my left chin
My aunt tagged me guilty
Even before she saw the curls on my head
And the community tagged me guilty
When they saw the bulge of mummy’s tummy
With no ring on her finger
They all said I’m guilty as sin

Who will plead my case
With all these terrifying witnesses
With all these terrifying evidence
When those I call family turn against me
When friends laugh
And when leaders use me for sermons
Who will plead my case I’m alone

I look at the judge and ask
Sir am I guilty as supposed?
Am I mistake as supposed?
Am I a disaster as supposed?
Am I a sin as supposed?
He said,
You are a blessing
You are a gift
You are a testimony
You are a treasure
You are a beautiful handwork
And above all you are special

I am a blessing
And no one can take it away from me
I am a gift
So mummy take it or leave it
I am a testimony
A mountain is coming soon
And guess what
I’m not alone.

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