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Though I rant and rave
And get these feelings
Of hurt and grief
Though I want to cry
But have to dry
These tears in me

Though I rant and rave
And get these feelings
Of hurt and grief
Though I want to cry
But have to dry
These tears in me
In a well of pain and hurt
Though I smile at you
But hide my face
Coz am shy of the blemish that life has put
Of my childhood
So trodden and trampled
And on dust it lays
Of my memories
That am scared of forgetting
And cannot indulge in either
Sometimes even I forget
That am only 14

Am up early
Prepare my sibling and myself
Prepare the breakfast and our cell
I mean our home
He wasn’t there last night
So I slept just fine
‘twas one of the few nights
That he missed being at home
We are off to school
A long day for me
I think of books
And work to do
I think of dinner
And what to cook
Though lunch we missed
It doesn’t count
It’s 5 o’clock, we are out of school
For me it means
Am not 14

I try, I try
I try real hard
To fit in my role as snug as I can
A mother I become for a couple of hours
And that
Am fine with
I cook, I feed,
I give a bath
I lay to sleep
These ‘kids’ I have
And that am fine with
But later a wife…
With conjugal obligation to satisfy
And he prods and pries and forces himself
The fight is constant
The fears are real
The hate, the hate is so much
I can feel it in my mouth
Am only 14, a wife not a mother not
But a daughter to this man

So now I hope you understand why
I smile with my mouth
And cry with my heart
And with my eyes stare bleakly
At a future I see not
But at the pain that has been caused

I hope you understand when
You see me on the streets
Parading all my things
Or hawking for some pimp
Am just trying to
Take care of my ‘kids’

I hope you understand when
I ask for help in raising these kids
Coz though am only 14
Am read to lay low and die
So am kindly asking if you…
Can…take them through this system
Take them through life

I hope you understand when
I say I can’t take no more
Of this emotional physical
And psychological torture
Of this life,
The constant reminder
Of what transpires
Of the fact that
I lived not as a girl
Though am not yet a woman
Of the truth that I want
To live not
Though am only 14
I hope you understand

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* Copyright © Wanjiku Mwaurah
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