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Loved and Lost

Loved and Lost

Lying on the floor, deadly and dangerous, is the gun.

I stare at it long and hard before picking it up.

I marvel at the heaviness in my hand

Stroke the hard metal gently.

I am precise. I carefully draw the target

On his chest, on mine. Right on the heart.

Darkness, destruction and devastation was inevitable

Because we dared to defy and fall in love.

Foolish, we believed that our love was strong enough

To defeat all the obstacles.

We dreamed of the delirious;

Of growing old together happily,

Travelling together, loving and laughing,

Flourishing in each other's' grace.

We prayed, hoped, that everything would fall in place.

Oh, our stupidity!

How dare we hold on to a love

So happily and healthy?

No - as my dad scowled, "do not talk to me of love"

For love is not a luxury that I can afford;

It is not a necessity; a mere impracticality

Culturally, at my young age of twenty,

I am expected to marry a sleazy older man.

Filthy rich of course, so that he can look after me

Because after four years working hard at University

I am only qualified to be a housewife with a degree.

He needs to be low key a dick

So, he can put my in my place when I misbehave;

Yes, a good strong moral Christian man.

You know, the one who goes to church to pray on Sunday

Who proclaims his righteousness in God

To then go to the witch doctor in the evenings

To curse and destroy his enemies.

I am expected to be a fixture in his fucking household

A perfect polished possession on his mantle piece.

And God forbid he can be white, European or Asian;

No, a nice African man. Though not Ghanaian

And not our people, Nigerians. because they are con-artists!

I cry and ask "Why?" but my mother just dismisses my tears

As excessive and unnecessary

My eyes search hers for understand and sympathy

But she is stubborn and stoic

Desolate because she abandoned her education and career

Because her father could afford his twenty-one children

And culturally, she was expected to bounce to another man to look after her.

And my dad, bitter, forced into a third marriage by his family

Waking up every day laying next to a woman who he does not love

They are stuck, trapped, in an unhappy marriage

And instead of setting me free from tyranny of conforming,

They lock me up and throw away the key.

I gaze at my love; his beautiful brown face.

I bury my head in his chest

Safe and secure.

Of course, he is not good enough,

The black boy that I met in church, who treats me respectfully;

Who seeks not to own or possess me

But encourages me to thrive.

Here is a man who showed me what it was to be loved unconditionally

Despite knowing all the insecurities, anxieties and darkness within me.

No. Of course, of course

He is not good enough for my parents!

And of course, his traditional Christian, single mother

Cannot possibly allow her son to date the girl he loves

Without her parents' approval.

We break away.

Let go.

Because our parents have to micromanage our relationships,

Our lives really; treating us like puppets on strings,

So, they can live through us vicariously

And instead of learning from the problems that they faced,

They lead us down the same way

Force us to fit the culturally and socially desirable mould.

And through the sorrow and pain

Is evident on his kind face,

And despite my heart break,

Our love cannot bear the pressure and strain

Of all the people

And all the forces

Pulling as away.

This is an anonymous submission.