This is for Zimbabwe’s political rape victims, most recently in the tragic 2008 election and its aftermath. For Zimbabwe’s leadership and justice system that failed and continues to fail them. For the perpetrators who walk free today while their victims live in prisons of trauma and justice denied, those men who forgot who birthed them, who cried for them, who raised them, who blessed them. This is also for our silence, then and now – may we remember that it will not protect us.
And finally, please read about Doors of Hope (here) from this amazing role model of mine whose blog post inspired this prose poem.
These great houses may be made of stone but these doors—these doors, Jesus, these doors are made of hope. Approach softly. Walk like whispering. Fold your wings, take off your shoes and wear flowers and feathers on your feet, hang your head, no, Do not. Dare. Walk. Tall. But first, Phakamisan’ iflagi, Simudzai mureza, Lift high this flag of Zimbabwe, lift-lift-lift, send it soaring to the sun so the fathers and sons of the soil can see this brilliant red stripe, song of the blood spilled during the war on these women’s bodies yes there is a country like that and it is my country.
Or have you forgotten? Or do you remember? How in 2008, when bullets were pointed to the ballot, that weapons were poised between women’s legs. Picture Queens beaten and subdued, dressed in dark dresses of desperation the color of a crying Congo, made in Zimbabwe. By our own. Hear the country’s cock crow thrice and sons singing denial songs with knife-like voices slitting grace in the throat—You are not my sister, You are not my mother, You are not my aunty:
And there, in the country of her skull, under African skies, she is battlefield, she is enemy. Lift high the flag of Zimbabwe, lift-lift-lift, send it soaring to the sun and open the gates and let the sons of the soil come marching in. Hail the black kings, beat the drums of war. Rip her dress of prayers, spread her legs, smash her cries against the houses of stones. It’s 2009, the red stripe of the Zimbabwean flag is for the blood spilled during the war on our women’s bodies. And beneath it, black. For. Our. Silences.