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The African Woman

Her silence is deafening,

echoed ceaselessly by her ubiquitous presence.
She is everywhere, yet nowhere.
She is the beneficiary of double jeopardy,
the second class citizen of the third class world
She is the African woman.

Do not look for her in the parliament of power.
Do not look for her in the centre of authority.
Do not look for her at the zenith of influence.
For there, she is a figure, a ratio, a percentage,
a necessary balance to an unnecessary equation.

See her hanging painfully to the rickety lorry,
Her wares, her undulating cushion.
Meet her at the street corner,
vending anything in season.
Watch her suckle her young under the canopy of the sun,
Her breasts, a kinsman to aged flip flops.

Daily she unfurls her cheerless umbrella,
Her only shield in seasons clement and seasons inclement,
as she hawks whatever comes her way
Wondering when her messiah shall come.

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