Art & CultureCulture & LifeEditors Choice

Regina Asinde’s “For Every Woman”

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Regina Asinde is a Ugandan writer, poet, editor, publisher, mother and wife. She is the Managing Director of Wordsmith Publications Uganda Limited. Her wide-ranging works, published in a number of anthologies, include “Fire on the Mountain”, “Wondering and Wandering of Hearts”, “A Thousand Voices”, “The BodaBoda Anthem”, including short stories like “The Search” and “Scales of Love”.
Asinde has penned several poems which all demand recognition. Here we share “For Every Woman”, a praise poem in which Asinde honors and shines light on women. Its powerful message, cutting across racial lines and national boundaries, is an affirmation to all women: that she “sees” and “recognizes” every woman, “sees” and “recognizes the struggle” of every woman, and “celebrates” every woman, each and every day.

For Every Woman

For the woman stinking of baby poop and breast milk
On the hard benches of the postnatal clinics
At the public health centres
Your face haggard as you cradle your seventh:
The family planning method was more myth than fable.

For the woman behind the stroller
Along the corridors of private hospitals
Your perfume wisps of class:
Yet another leave day taken
To bring baby for her immunization shot.

For the woman sweating at the makeshift market
Your voice hoarse from the constant hard bargains
That will see you earn a meager profit:
The KCCA Enforcement taskforce
Left you scavenging through SACCO loans
To raise new capital.

For the woman staring at the screen
Your forehead scarred
like the apple that brands the tablet
Your phone buzzing in tune
to the air conditioner
Adding goosebumps
to your clammy skin
It’s yet another message from the director
Reminding you of your private meeting
At the five-star hotel this evening:
Your new pay rise has to be certified
Between the cotton bed sheets.

For the woman sitting in the highchair
Your ears deaf to the debate amongst the team
While you doodle caricatures
of the invisible waiting for you to sign
the documents express delivered to you this morning:
Orders from above.

For the woman who looks like me
For the woman who does not look like me
For the woman who hates looking like me
For the woman who desires to look like me
For the woman who aspires to be me
For the woman whom I aspire to be
For the too much woman
For the too little woman
For the masculine woman
For the girly woman
For the woman whose shoes I clean
For the woman who cleans my shoes
For the woman who walked this path before
For the woman who will walk this path after
For the woman walking this path
For the woman I have hurt
For the woman who hurt me
For the woman hurting right now
For every woman
I see you
I recognise you
I see your struggle
I recognise your struggle
I celebrate you

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