Once Upon a Broken Shalewa – Poetry


By Nwaokolo Nneamaka

In her state of despondency,

She sat, curled up by the dark corners of a filthy room,

Her hair hung on my shoulder,

Her tears, trickling down her face.

She reminisced,

To the very day

She jumped into a dark river,

Wanted to come out,

But she couldn’t.

A bottle was all Shalewa wanted,

Two bottles she was given,

Three bottles she took,

Four more she consumed,

Five hours she passed out.


She could feel hands groping her bosom,

She could feel the loudness of her faint voice,

She could feel the weary blows she gave,

Trying to fight these hands off.

Maybe it was a dream? Or not.

Then all around her was a void darkness,

And she lay, sensing the warmth from her buttocks,

The redness of blood,

But the pains of penetration,

Was what Shalewa couldn’t feel.

Even in her pains,

Even as a victim,

She knew her flaws,

She knew her faults,

She embraced them.

And she knelt in a puddle of her tears,

And cried out, ‘JUSTICE!!!’



For her sake, for every victim out there.

The world wouldn’t believe her if she talked,

But she knows YOU would-

That’s why she was here.

It doesn’t matter if her dress was too short

Or her cleavages too exposed,

Or she gulped voluptuous amount of alcohol.

None of it mattered, does it?

She was defied!

Her pride thoroughly wounded!

‘JUSTICE’ she screamed her lungs out.

She took out a shining lengthy blade,

And slid it into her belly,

At least she tried to.

She didn’t end her life,

I wouldn’t let her.

Out of the corner of a creaked door,

I saw her,

I saw her pains and I felt it.

And swearing in the name of God,

I’d bring JUSTICE for a broken Shalewa.

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