Functional By Monica Kakembo

They put food in your mouths
and clothes on your back because they’re guilty.
Like you’re a weight on their chest
and they wish that you were lifted.
You know from time to time she’ll explode
just to get the weight off.
You know sometimes she wishes it stayed off.
Because she’ll never forgive you for your father’s sins.
And no matter how hurt you are
she’s always the only one hurting.
Like the roles are reversed
and suddenly you’re the parent, right?

But the truth is you didn’t even ask to be alive.
And maybe if you had the choice
you wouldn’t choose this life.
Because she beat you numb
and then she broke your heart.
And you know you’ll spend your whole life
healing from those scars.
The scars that got beneath your skin,
And scraped and scratched until those other parts.
And she doesn’t want you here and you know it.
She doesn’t want to be divorced
with three kids and you know it.
And your faces look just like the dreams she forfeited
so she could raise a bunch of babies and be in love.

Was she joking?
Because at first it didn’t seem that important.
She didn’t think that she’d get old
and start resenting her children.
Reflecting all her failures onto them
and playing the victim.
When all they ever did was try to be loved and;
Love failed them.
When it came down to it love failed them
Because love wasn’t enough
to keep daddy home and mommy sane.
They thought the bruises and the abuse
would lead to something but it’s still the same.
So don’t ask them why they suffer from abandonment.
You can have a house and call it home
but feel abandoned still.

When what you know of love is sick and twisted.
Because you still go home to the same people
that called you worthless.
And you feel worthless.
And no one could ever tell you different
Because you don’t believe after sixteen years of hurting
there could be a difference.
You have trouble sleeping.
Because you feel like you won’t ever amount to anything.
Because you can’t afford to go to college
Cause your parents can barely pay the rent.
And you feel stupid for thinking that anything could ever change.

It’s something so distant that feels like pain.
You feel like cutting open your veins.
But you know your siblings are counting on you
so you pack up the razors, again.
You know you’re just living up to your death.
The scars you collect
Are so intense
You’re about to run out of flesh.
And you’ve given up hope
At least for yourself.
You know the illusion of a better life
belongs to someone else.
And you feel selfish for feeling bad
And you’re going insane.
And you need God to tell you everything will be okay

Shut up mind!
Stop talking
Because who says you can’t fix what’s broken?
And maybe all we know of love was misspoken
Mistold, and miswritten.
Because in a world that’s always changing
There’s bound to be a difference.
Because not everything is hopeless.
When you’re having couch conversations
And laughing your guts out
All the layers of that love is unfolding.
So, shut up mind.
Nothing’s perfect.

There are days when we will bask in these moments.
And others, we’ll fight and hate each other.
But what does love mean if you don’t have the courage
to be better than you’ve been?
So I forgive you mom
Please forgive my mind.
I promise most of these thoughts
Were far from mine.
I’m sorry.
Above all else
Mom I’m sorry.

By Monica Kakembo, Uganda

A Participant in the CTalent Programme since, Sep2020

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