I Understand
You seeing your Mothers’ ashen hands working at the mill
Still unable to provide for the approaching evening meal
While Father works hard all day and night at his farms
Somehow still unable to produce enough yams

I understand
You watching your best friends leave for cities, and some for towns
Leaving home, with joyful tears and showing off their brand new gowns
“Only fine girls have that dress”, your less tactful friend tells you
She had always strived in chaos, why you loved her remains unknown
You return home, still hungry and still very broke
Wash your siblings’ clothes in man-made brooks

I understand
You getting a scholarship, maybe the gods have finally heard
Dancing for joy, the good news was faithfully spread
You Father sits crying at home, with relief and with sorrow
He cannot afford the fare for your travel tomorrow

I understand
Your bitterness, disappointment and anger
As you stomped to the village head by night determined to leave forever
His advances you had ignored, the good child that you are
But being good has failed you and will not get you far

I understand
The screaming and sweating and pain
As you gave in to a Pedophile who swore in his gods name
When it was all over, both innocence and joy gone
His sweaty hands handed over, the price of being re-born

I understand
Fathers sorrow, as he watched in disbelief
You packing your bags and him unable to demand the truth
“Where did you get that money?!” shame withheld him from asking
Mother helped you pack your bags, but her eyes remained unseeing
Bitter sweet and then bitter, the truth in parents’ hearts cut as a blade
As prayers were made to gods to keep you, farewells again were bade

I understand
Your journey; it should not have been this way
If the elders were not perverse and gave a growing child some grace
Leverage in kindness for the potential of greater good to come
If friends are a little kinder, maybe contentment would reign
And on children will not be imposed
the heartbreak reserved for adults in the lame name of fame
If Fathers and Mothers had less children than nine
Then maybe there would be enough to save for Parents some pride
If Parents made better decisions and for their children choose to fight
Then maybe children would see something worthy of becoming like
If leaders were not corrupt and cared for their own, in cities, towns and villages
Then welfare would be available for more, preserving innocence, saving lives
I understand

Still come away, come away child from that place
Where you learned how to get ahead only through shame and disgrace
Time and again, you have lost you, it’s the only way you have known
The path to being that good child, has lost its way back home
Come away, come away child, from men waiting at school gates
There to pick on willing girls and boys, their own childrens’ age mates
Come away from dark smoky rooms where horrible tales are told
Of people there to watch you repeat your first disgrace, again, for paper gold
Come away, come away child, let us find us a home
I understand where you have come from and why you are this way
There’s a chance for you to move on and live life differently
Come away into your beginning, come - and find me, still here
The good girl you once were calling out to you - your own
I understand why you left, but not why you are still gone
Come away into me, your first, your true one
Your… Self.

Written 19th March, 2014 (& completed in 34 minutes)

She is an expert oil and gas lawyer by day and a poet at all times… Donna is a Senior Associate in the Energy and Project Finance Group of Adepetun Caxton-Martins Agbor & Segun with over 12 years of dynamic experience in Energy, Commercial, Environmental and Property law practices. She consults extensively on a wide range of investment issues for international exploration, oil service and multinational trading companies. Utilizing both her career path as a legal practitioner and lyrical talents, Donna is keenly passionate about entertainment; and particularly, has a long-held love for poetry, dance and music. She has authored over 100 poems and is presently working on a novel. Her twitter handle is @ThePoet_Donna.


  1. Nicely crafted.
    I feel; therefore I understand!

  2. Ezinwa Ezuruike16 July 2014 at 19:20

    Truly i do understand too. Beautiful work of art.

  3. Good. Very good


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