3 October 2013

Painful Truth Poem: A blog and poem on FGM for National Poetry Day 2013

Today, 3rd October 2013, is National Poetry Day when the UK celebrates poetry in all its forms. To mark this special day we would like to acknowledge the power of poetry to help us share experiences, express our feelings and engage with others in a personal and meaningful way.

In our work against female genital mutilation (FGM) we regularly see the way different art forms can help deliver messages about the harm caused by FGM, explain that this practice is not neccessary and perhaps most importantly provide a way that those who have undergone FGM can express their feelings and begin to heal. Drama, story-telling, dance, painting, sculpture, needlecraft and all forms of writing including poetry are used to great effect in the fight against FGM and today we want to especially pay tribute to those who find a way to tackle FGM through poetry.

We are pleased to be able to share a poem written by a Somali FGM survivor. When we read this we feel her pain and sorrow at what has happened to her and many other girls. She helps us understand the confusion, helplessness and despair that FGM causes as well as the life long physical damage and medical complications. We join with the poet in calling for an end to FGM and a new golden age when all girls and women live free from the fear of and pain of FGM.


Painful Truth Poem


At some point of my life

I asked myself why

All the eyes are on me

It makes me want to cry


They want me to be tough

Pass this habit to my kids

Teach them to be rough

Let them feel what I felt


But what if it is wrong

And it has to be wrong

It doesn’t make me feel strong


This is a story

That no one wants to hear

It’s only my destiny

To end this life with fear


I was 5 years old

When I started to realize

That girls are born to be cold

Just like a useless device


It’s not my right to complain

As a matter of fact

I should withstand all emotional and physical pain


I heard that one of my friends

Became a hero

Because she went under a procedure

That make her so


I knew my day will come anyway

It was never an option, it was compulsory


I had to bite my lips

Hold back the tears in my eyes

Because if I cried, they will inform other kids

That I was a coward and I will never go a step forward.


The pain and I grew up

Together we never stopped

Seeking for something to separate us

We never ever gave up


But people still wanted to hurt me

They taught me that my life doesn’t belong to me

Now I feel that there is nothing hurtful

I got used with everything even if it’s horrible


I remember I had urine retention

And I needed a medical attention

But first, they wanted permission

From those who never changed their vision


To cut me up

To leave me with no choice

But to give up


I guess they never cared about my emotion

Or they would empathize knowing the sensation

Inside me was a tremendous commotion

I was lost in an invisible and painful ocean


I’m a girl

Like any other Somali girl

FGM is the only nightmare


Looking forward to the golden age

When it will all vanish

Can’t wait for you golden age

To come and end this punishment.


If you are moved by this poem please share it with others and if you would like to help in the fight to end FGM please support 28 Too Many. You can donate to help fund our work, like our Facebook page or follow us on Twitter.