HARDEN, SWALLOW AND BURY – UGOCHUKWU DAMIAN

HARDEN, SWALLOW AND BURY - UGOCHUKWU DAMIAN 1

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HARDEN, SWALLOW AND BURY

I often see myself as a tortoiseshell
Or rather
The society has moulded one for me to dwell
Like a wrapper, I’m folded and placed in it

A man is a tortoiseshell
No matter what ensues, you should not loose part
The cracks are allowed but you cannot be apart

Pain is cassava flour
So I hold my tears
And make water out of it
To harden pain

I’m told to shove pain
Down my throat
So I roll pain into balls
And swallow
With hopes of not choking

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And I bury pain
D
e
e
p
And
Faraway

Harden, swallow and bury
Repeat!
Harden, swallow and bury

When I choke
I’m told to spread my lips
Till they reach my ears
For choking is like burning
So I spread my lips till they
Reach my ears
And when I’m offered water
That I should shake my head
The way my lips smile
For men are not weak
We do not need help

In the tortoiseshell
I harden, I swallow and I bury

And me?
I’m trained
To be hard as silk.  . .

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By Ugochukwu Damian

About Me

Ugochukwu Damian Okpara is a poet and a medical student based in Nigeria. He began writing
poetry in 2017 and his major theme explores depression, loneliness, and feminism. His goal is
to inspire those who have been hurt, making them realize that the light at the end of the tunnel
is not an illusion. When he is not writing or reading, he spends time listening to songs by Simi,
James Blunt or Ed Sheeran

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