Photo from PxHere.

Anatomy of a Broken Woman


there are so many songs of grief
in my head
& here is mother on a sickbed–
between life & death
demanding i sing her one.
this song i am about to sing is not a song of passage
per se,
it is the song of a woman whose river of existence
has been traded with the joys (pains) of childbirth;
a woman whose body has become
a silhouette for patterning pains.


the doctor diagnosed mother for fibroid
but how come fibroids find solace
in the bosom of grieved women?
teacher says cuneiforms are the oldest forms of writing
& it is true to find this in the encyclopedia of arts.
but this woman’s body is a chronicle,
enclosing the history of pain
& each chapter, a guide to tending it.


i just sketched on your body
the shadow of a bird
on a tree behind the house.
& i can feel this pain too –
the way the tip of my index finger swirls
into your skin,
purging pains as blood.
every ache – the color of oil spilt on wet floor after rain –
brilliant hues wounding into a perfect rainbow.
i am immersed in the flight of your impending journey
but before i transform into a bird without wings –
what you’ve become while waiting for the one
who never comes –
i will sing you away with a tune
so soft as the cheeping of sparrows to the wind.


whenever i try singing this song,
nameless birds would break –
out of my chest,
twittering truths that laid woven
into my skin for years,
truths about the man you loved –
the man whose body is a door to streets without verbs:
to places i once told you i can’t remember.


what is the proper noun for remembrance
if not what we forget?
if not your son; my brother,
melting under the heat of the pains
you once took for gratitude?


the darkness meant for the universe
just nestled its eggs in this room
but i can see your shadow
racing 360 degrees
all over this place.
i have come with a song curled under my nose
& every note of mine is a milestone
crushing you to dust.

About the Author

Olaitan Junaid is a reader, writer, & sometimes, an editor. He is a lover of good poetry. He studies English Language & Literature at the Obafemi Awolowo University. He lives in South-Western Nigeria, where he writes from.
You can reach him here: @junaidolaitan51 on Instagram.

Omotayo Jones
An addict with the pen. A student of mathematics and physics, Twitter troll, Facebook comedian and all-round human.

One thought on “Poem: Anatomy of a Broken Woman by Olaitan Junaid”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *