My garden was just beginning to bloom.
We met in the Spring,
Tentative shoots reaching up through the soil,
Green, tender, cautious and unsure.
The trees were swaying gently side to side.
I sat in wonderment with the sun shining in the garden.
Sadly, I made a mistake,
I planted the wrong petal at the wrong place and time
At first you helped me water and strengthen the roots, but It didn’t last.
Man, I can hear you yell
Your voice echoes through my ears.
Broken and stiff, let me ask you,
“When did you get so violent, hostile and unsatisfied?”
Please, have I done something awful to you?
Cause you stripped away my self-worth layer by layer
Until there was nothing left of me.
Harsh marks of bruises and scars do not fade, melancholic I always feel.
Hey Darling, when you are abusing, beating and slapping me,
Does that make you a man?
Is this what you hastened me to guide our son?
Yet a cage of pain is now my home, I am getting used to it.
But from all the terrors of life doled out to me in one single blow,
I am not losing my identity, I am that Girl I used to be,
I still carry the boldness unapologetically.
So I hid my garden, and grew it in secret,
My flowers bloomed but not under your gaze.
I stand against Gender based Violence because Love doesn’t Hurt.
Claudine is Rwandan. She is also an economist, writer, poetess, blogger, activist, feminist, traveller and a tennis lover.
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