I looked into your eyes hoping to see the face of young innocence,
But instead I read of permanent internal scares,
wounds still so fresh yet kept for years in silence,
for you never let them surface to light…
I looked into your eyes, beyond the colors brown and white
& saw a reflection of me & every other women,
Who dwells in corridors of silence, weeping in sorrow’s house.
Then I realized that your journey did not begin with baby steps,
for it’s a journey of a thousand other women who have walked this path
haunted by the reality of comforting pains,
embedded in fading memories
of sunsets past… I wished I had been there for you,
to hold your hand in the rain
& tell you this too shall pass…
I wished I had been bold enough to stand up
& tell my story & let healing take place.
For you would have learned from my mistakes,
& not walk this journey of a thousand other women.
I was hoping that those before you & me
Had been open to not go to bed,
With enclosed pains & told me of this journey
Of being women…
Then you have learned to pay attention to the inner voice
and loved me a little more before letting the world in.
looking into those eyes I saw:
fading hope &
for love had let us down.
Grown too soon.
You are child no more.
I looked into your eyes
till I could not look anymore
because the reflection was too familiar…
I heard stories untold mine & that of sisters
Who opened their hearts, though yet before dawn betrayal
was thrown back into their faces, by those closest.
Looking into those teary eyes
I heard silent cries of young girls who never knew
what it meant to be young and free and loved,
for the only men they knew ripped away the little pieces of joy ,
in acts of proving that they are MEN…
How can we expect them to be fathers,
when they are only men…
driven by desire,
I saw battered women,
with shattered hopes of ever rising beyond limitation,
Because most times she knew he did not meant to lay it so hard on her…
pain became pleasure
I read stories of a thousand other women
Who walked this journey, forged this path, with streams of tears.
Until I came across a story all so familiar
Of a broken hearted girl
Who had bat everything on love,
She who never thought she never good enough
Nor deserving of more
It did not make sense that any man would stick around
For DADDY was never around to see her grow.
She who placed all of self in one basket,
But like JACK, she broke her arm & no one came to her rescue.
I took a close look into those eyes and realized
it was only a reflection of my reality.
By Siziwe Mpopo
Stop Violence Against Women