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LOUD WHISPERS: Our Days Are Long

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Tuesday, March 12th, 2024
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Our days are long

Too long

When we are hungry time stops and refuses to move forward

When our children cry, we hope in vain for the sun to set

So we can put them to bed with at least a morsel in their bellies

When our bodies ache, we stop wondering why

We yearn for when we can be free from the pain

Our days are long

As we wait for our husbands

Our sons

Our daughters

Our sisters

Our brothers

All carted away like goats in the middle of the night

We wait for news – dead or alive?

To pay or not to pay and with what?

The days are so long

Too long

When wars are fought on our bodies and we live to tell the tale

No sunrise or sunset ever feels the same

When those around us are sick and we have to leave everything else to nurse them

Or when we fall sick and there is no one left to care for us

Our days are long

We don’t recognise our children anymore

Our sons are despondent and angry

They are doing things we are afraid to talk about

Our daughters are trying their best

But they are selling their future to live for today

Those who are supposed to care are not concerned

Those who are meant to be concerned do not care

Even the places where we go to seek succour and salvation

Our days there often become unbearable

Yes, we have days of joy and laughter

We plant, we harvest, we love, we rejoice in the fortunes of our children

Yet, our days are long with loss, grief, yearning and want

Another day has rolled by

The day

Our day

They say it is to celebrate us, the women of the world

Rightfully so

We deserve to be honoured

Some have more cause to celebrate than others

We are too tired to celebrate

We are too desperate to rejoice

Let the big men talk and promise

Let the Madams sing and dance and give us ‘empowerment’

We thank them

We are grateful

We are glad

We will still go home

Where our days are ever so long

One can only dream

Of a day when we will truly celebrate

When we will really be happy

When we will have cause to rejoice

Till that happens

We will keep watch

We will remain alert

We have no choice

We need to survive

We have to be here when they come back home

We need to be there for the harvests

We have to bear witness

We will be here

As the days get longer and longer

Please don’t misunderstand us

We are thankful for life

For whatever we have large or small

We just know from the bottom of our hearts

Our days are long

Too long

For whatever it is worth

Happy International Women’s Day

Bisi Adeleye-Fayemi is a Gender Specialist, Policy Advocate and Writer. She is the Founder of Abovewhispers.com, an online community for women. She can be reached at BAF@abovewhispers.com

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