A Life of Comedy and Tragedy
By Toa Mohemed
This is a piece on the regurgitation of trauma from the perspective of a young girl transitioning into her authentic self through reflection.
little girl, why do you weep and wail? your cries behold truth that those stricken by your light cannot see in your eyes, they see an angel, a saving grace, God but still, you cry and cry and cry… a tiny heart ridden with the blues born in sorrow & pain only to live a life in vain the arms that cradled you and eased your fears become foreign to you throughout the years baba’s at work & mama’s crying cause she’s stressed the blues residing in your heart are no longer suppressed here comes the chaos & the puppeteering on goes your mask, the sock & buskin blood! sin! shame! this is womanhood, little girl your life will never be the same cause little girl, you are not so little anymore but ain’t it funny? the blood of your womb which carries man is deemed “bad blood,” abominable, impure you are disgusted of your own flesh & blood bend your knees and pray—repent! repent! repent! they tell you lower your gaze, cover yourself, you’re a woman now don’t laugh too loud, you cackle like a witch you talk too much, won’t you be quiet? this box is suffocating here you are, kicking & crying like a newborn child in the chambers of your mind, you yell—i want out! out! out! let me free! let me free! let me free! a spirit anchored by the fearful & fretful mind…
I was inspired by my experiences and the cultural stigma surrounding being a young woman. I always felt like I had an image to live up to, even if it meant sacrificing my own perception of myself. I felt like I had a lot of demons whispering in my ear. You know when that voice inside your head gets so loud that you feel like you’re gonna explode? That’s what drove me to write this poem. It was a process of talking to myself on paper.
Toa Mohemed is a poet residing in Queens, New York. She moved from Egypt to New York at a young age and has established herself within the arts of writing, visual arts, and music. Her work speaks to the journey of self-discovery as an adolescent woman.