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Woes of A Lost Journey

I have endured these morning sicknesses,
Struggled to maintain my burden.
Even when I wouldn’t get any meal from my “god”,
I begged for something little from my neighbors.
Only to lose my baby at expulsion.
Aww, how I have suffered these 9 months.
Yet, I will return from the clinic which I wouldn’t be allowed to go
Only to be accused of killing my child.
Soaked with tears, pain and humiliation, my tongue is tied.
Tied by a culture I am of no value if I can’t produce many children

I remember getting up early morning and going to the okada man’s house
To make sure he took me to clinic early but mine –
Aww, my bad omen, he had not come to sleep at home that night.
Waking up my “god” who wouldn’t care to wake up,
Because I am a weakling for wanting to deliver at the clinic
I was that weakling capable of carrying a pregnancy to term
Yet can’t walk myself to the TBA’s house.
I had to trek on this long pothole-filled road, a 20km journey
Soaked in my burst “waterbag”, sweat and tears I could barely breathe
Only to return with empty hands, my heart bleeds
Bleeding with pain caused by a system that cared less

Struggled to arrive at the clinic, very fortunate, right?
Seeing many green-dressed maidens, with feet barely touching the ground
Entering and exiting one room or another, without care
I allowed myself to sit while they searched for a bed for me
Alas! A bed finally, many minutes after
I had to endure the suffering of my baby wanting to come into the world
While no midwife is available to attend to me, many nurses just sat
Eyes fixed onto some glass screens in their hand with their fingers constantly moving
Like the blood- drenched warriors at battle field, I bled without measure
Meanwhile, the green-dressed maidens wouldn’t look beyond their nose
Enduring pains caused by negligence at the hands of lifesavers

Yiee! My bad omen, has brought this fortune
How many a woman has suffered my misfortune?
Lost lives at the hand of a system, culture and people who live
Murderers with blood-soaked hands wielding the power to save
Of many infants and mothers that die and women that weep
A mark of betrayal, by many that sit on women’s laps
Betrayed by a culture without sense
A system without heart, and a people without sight

god: husband (head of the family)
okada man: motor rider
waterbag: amniotic sac
Yiee!: wailing sound

Farrukh Ishaque Saah, “writing sheikh” is a Public Health graduate from the University of Health and Allied Sciences, and a young researcher. He is the first of three children from Cape coast, Ghana, and happily married. He has a strong interest in African Traditional stories and poetry. Writing Sheikh writes poetry and prose that seeks to project the African culture, systems and people. With strong background in public health, he hopes to write traditional drama to promote health and have them performed on radio shows, both locally and international. Facebook: Farrukh Ishaque

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