How can I forget the rustic scent
Of the village where I was born?
Having known sufferings of epic proportion,
How can I forget the trenchant images
Of resistance, revolt, poverty and defeat?
Epicist of the female experience,
I still remember the musical flow
Of voices and counter voices
Echoing along the long corridors
While my mother’s scourging authority
Would uphold the dignity of our downtrodden fate.
With fearless love for Truth
Which still exerts a far-reaching influence
On my life and especially my writing,
I walk the path alone with no sense
Of insecurity, fear of old age or death.
How can I forget the pangs of hunger,
The dry throat, the family tragedies,
The mind’s clamor that could not be stilled
From worrying about anything and everything
At one and the same time.
I never knew how strong I was
Until being strong was the only choice I had.
The child that I was, I became strong.
I learned that if life is amazing, she won’t be easy
And if she is easy, she won’t be amazing.