Ti Marie

 

That night like many nights before
in the apparent stillness everyone sleeps
he made his way toward the form lying down
on the floor
Ti Marie is tired, always tired
been on her feet at the crack of dawn
before everyone
assembled her rags on the bare floor
after everyone closed their bedroom door
She is young, as young as
the other girls in the house
her past as charged and sad as
grandmothers
He made his way toward her
he is young too, privileged,
not a restavek, her master
Resigned acquiescence,
her bones ache, what can she do?
Pray she doesn’t end up
with child and on the streets alone
so it’s been many nights
same resigned sigh, no passion
please forgive me ti Marie
i was young too, a victim
indecent culture, imposing unfair mores
i know you’re no more
have you ever laughed, smiled
don’t remember the color of your teeth
terrible fate, terrible life
children born in darkness
despised on day one, burden to mothers
ti Marie never smiled
she mostly cried alone on her rags
her bones aching like grandmothers’
she died one sad night
her water broke
alone in that hut
her and the newborn dead


Patrick Mombrun

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