“It Started With A Slap” A Poem by Temisan Dudu
It started with a single slap
Back then during courtship
And I vowed I was going to leave him
He begged so much it became embarrassing
“Baby I am sorry,” he pleaded
“I will never lift a finger to hit you again,” he vowed
His friends begged claiming it was work pressure
What could I do? I loved him so much
I went against promise to self
I took him back
That was my undoing
It happened again in the second month of marriage
We were sitting on the sofa in the living room
What we joked about, I cannot even remember
But he hit me so hard you started bleeding
I woke up on a hospital bed
I was so sore, one eye partly shut
He had given me the beating of my life.
I vowed this time I was going to leave
But what would people say?
Our marriage was just two months
My parents had spared no cost to give me a fairytale wedding
I was after all their princess
We still had cake from the wedding in our fridge!
So, continued my torture
My husband became my tormentor, he hit me at the slightest provocation.
Then came the last straw
I was eight months pregnant, slow from carrying the weight of two people
He came home drunk and hungry
He demanded I made him pounded yam
A very wicked request
Considering I had just made him some rice with the last bit of strength I had in me
Then the monster struck again
He beat me, oh he beat me black and blue, red and yellow
He beat me so bad
I lost the baby I so lovingly longed for
“Madam we are so sorry we couldn’t save the baby, it was so badly affected from the kicks to your stomach, you only barely survived,” said the doctor.
I cried so bitterly as my world came crashing
I had so many dreams for my baby
But they were cut short by his beastly father.
This time, I actually left
Not caring about anything or anyone
I could not bear to live with the one that murdered my son
Even before he saw the light of day
Who snuffed his little life out of him
Before he even came to life
I left with a broken heart and shattered dreams
Mourning the son I will never know.