Poem: The Family

Written by Victorine Ndinda


Yesterday mum had another fight with dad;

I don’t know what led to the argument

I just remember dad,

Hurling a plate, full of rice and stew,

At mum.

It must have hit her hard

I remember seeing blood,

Blood, red as scarlet, on the white table cloth.

Dad rose up, looked at me

(I have never been that frightened, by a look)

And stormed off.

I have never felt so much hate,

So much that I could kill him.

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I wanted to help mum

To calm her silent sobs,

To hug her,

Wipe the tears, silently flowing from her eyes

And the blood.


But I couldn’t,

I just couldn’t.

Oh how I hated her at that moment!

Why does she live with this beast of a man?



Am I wrong for hating her?

Does she think staying with him, is for our own good?


She says that we can’t leave;

It is not cultural,

“A woman has to be strong;

For her children”, she says


Strong, huh?

Strong, mama?

Are you strong? Do you feel strong?

With that black eye? Broken nose? Slit lip?

Does that make a woman……..

Strong, mama?



I look at mum driving us,

She has put on her dark shades;

To hide the black eye

Yester night, they had another fight,

Sometimes, I feel sorry for mum.


I asked dad, on my 16th birthday,

When he bought me my first beer,

Why he beats mum.

He was dead drunk; but I will never forget

How he looked at me, belched, looked at me again, and said-

“Because I am a man,

That is what men do, son.

To keep them in order”

I have never felt so much hate,

So much that I could kill him.


Mrs. Ateng

I cannot leave him,

No I cannot.

Where will I take my two children?

What will happen to my investments?

What will people say?

That I am a failure?

A woman who could not keep her man?


What about the children?

Oh, the children!

They really love their father!

What will happen to them?

My beautiful children!

They don’t deserve this; to live without a father.


Author: Faith Oneya

Lover of the written and spoken word.

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