Thursday, April 25, 2019

CULTURE



I’m missing
Missing you.
That day you died
I shouted but could not even cry
The family swarmed around like bees
Instructing me what to do
Because I now wore the clothes of widowhood.
“A widow must not speak” they said
“Why?” I asked
“It is tradition”
“It is our culture”
“You must be silent when people are around”
“Being chatty makes people think you are enjoying the attention”
“So you must be quiet”
Even in grief they want to control me
Control my emotions
Control my tears
In the name of culture
Now the years have gone by
And I finally meet an elder who explained
“Long ago there were no therapists
Or counsellors
Like we have now
The only way for you to keep you sanity
Was to be silent and watch what was going on around you
But if you began chatting day and night
After all the mourners had left
And you were alone
You would continue chatting to yourself
And end up doing it without knowing it
Sometimes it is wise to listen to the elders
For every act called culture
Has a reason for existing
We just have to search for the reason

(c) Mariska Taylor-Darko 2019
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