Our small family is at
the hairdresser’s “shop”
which is really only a long wall,
an aluminium roof supported by
a few akpotis
made out of paint buckets and
old kerosene stoves.
my sister is sitting in between
the legs of the old woman
with her big, sincere smiles
and if you look closely
you can see the songs threatening to
burst out from her cheeks
my mother and I sit silently,
while I watch the busy road
and the school opposite it
I look at my mother, and
her floral cotton blouse has slid down
her chest a little
(at least that is what I think)
immediately, with an urgency I cannot explain
I pull it up.
my mother looks at me and pulls her blouse back down.
they’re calling me a bad word
my nipples can be seen
in the recent photo I posted
it stings a little that
my friend is one of them but
it does not bother me enough to comment on it.
days later, when
she sees that I am not bothered
she comes to me
hurling the dirty words at me
she wonders why I will not retaliate but
I sit her down and tell her that story
I have slut shamed my own mother and
maybe that is why I am getting what I am getting
I don’t care that you are insulting me,
I tell her.