Don’t say a word!

Don’t judge me!

Don’t ask me why 

I march on the streets, holding boards 

Heavy with angry words. 
Don’t ask me why 

My voice is indignant and curt

And don’t tell me to hush 

Because all my songs speak of hurt.
You weren’t there 

When they took away my real books 

And instead gave me the sort of education 

Where my teacher was 

A drunkard four times my age, 

And my exams consisted of baby production.
Don’t talk to me about culture. 

You weren’t there 

When they took red hot stones,

placed them on my chest 

and not only burned away my breast, 

but put a scar on my soul,

You didn’t feel the searing pain, 

When they spread my legs 

And cut out my flesh, 

And now I can never feel whole.

So don’t you dare talk to me about culture.
Don’t come around me 

And preach about decency or 

How I’m the cause of my rape.

You didn’t see when the people 

I call fathers, neighbours, friends 

Lifted my long skirts 

And tore away at my innocence,

Day after day with no shame 

And then they made me take the vow of silence.
Don’t you even dare quote scripture at me.

So you know scripture?

Where was scripture 

When they seized my glory 

With shards of broken glass

Leaving me on the floor unwashed and crass

All because my love and partner was gone

And he had left me all alone?

When they took away my livelihood, 

My hope, all I had that was good

And left me only with my tears 

And a chair by the window,

Why didn’t you then quote scripture 

About how to treat a widow?
Don’t jeer when all I ask is to be treated fairly

When all I want is for you to see clearly

That there’s blood running in my veins 

Just like yours

And though you’ve hurt me, 

I don’t even want revenge,

I just want remorse.

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