SENTIENCE

I am a doormat to my brother that must spread
each day for him to erase his dirtied tracks and trample
upon.

I must bridle my tongue in the midst of men
like a horse. Or what do I think I am?

I am just another one whose father’s name would
soon vanish like the rainbow in the sky and wear
a new one.

If I play with boys too much, I am christened
a whore but brother like fish swims in the aquarium
of different mermaids and mom only says be careful with a smile.

I must whittle into a cook and face the mishaps of kitchen
as brother withers time away in the belly of electronic games.

He must not cry because a cry emasculates a man.
He must wear his pains like underpants shielded away from becoming
a laughing stock of all eyes.

I know these unwanted loads burden him and there are many
things, many things tormenting him inward that he wishes to

offset but no, he is a lion who must not display weakness in the

face of adversity. Maybe, maybe I am just a stupid girl void of MANLY
reasoning.

Kwara, 2021.

Eniola Abdulroqeeb Arówólò is a writer and student of Mass Communication who enjoys writing on child abuse, inequality, politics and domestic violence. His works have appeared or are forthcoming in Nnoko Stories, Mixed Mag, Ngiga Review, Arts Lounge, African Writers magazine, NantyGreens, Eremite Poetry and elsewhere. In his leisure time, he is either writing, reading or binge-watching cartoons.