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26Jan

My Sense of Innocence


The first time he jammed himself into me

He said it was normal for it to hurt.

He said I was his favourite and I was special.

He said it is only special people who get this kind of gift

He said it was his gift to me

No one was to know about it or they will get jealous

He said it was our gift to each other


After the first time

It didn’t hurt so bad any more

And after the first year it was normal

I liked it, I enjoyed it and I felt like a woman

I was 14 when it started

By 16, I was looking for excuses to spend time with him

By 17, I was bored with him

By 18, I had a new boyfriend

And it was when I told him about my first time

That he told me I had been raped over and over.


I protested, he didn’t force me

He said, he didn’t have to force you.

Sex with a minor is rape

I’m 35 now, still in therapy

I don’t know what hurts more

That he was the family’s gardner or

That I was too naive to recognsie what was happening to me

Or that I was a willing participant

But one thing I know for sure

No bastard is touching my little girl

His pennis will be on the floor before his erection is complete

And no way in hell will it ever work again


(C) 2006 Belinda Otas


Note: I saw Deb Young perform Children of A Lesser God at the Hackney Empire in  2006, when the play, Da Kink In My Hair, was showing.  It was deep then and it’s still deep whenever I watch the Youtube video above.  I saw the play with my aunt and it became our point of discussion for weeks. Whenever we went to the theatre, Da Kink In My Hair, was the yardstick by which we measured other theatre productions.  This is one piece that moves me over and over, and like a lunatic, I scribbled down the piece above a day after seeing the play. The title has changed but the words are true to what I felt as Deb Young’s character narrated her story on the stage.  By the time she was done narrating this as a monologue in the play, let’s just say, Hackney Empire has never been so quiet

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15 Responses to “My Sense of Innocence”

  1. Gbemi says:

    Wow, that is indeed very moving.

  2. Belinda Otas says:

    Thank you Gbemi

  3. Deborah says:

    ehm…what a story…but it is (still) reality…very sad

  4. Belinda Otas says:

    U can say that again.

  5. i love the last four lines, that is the spirit !

  6. i love the last four lines of the poem, that is the spirit!

  7. Belinda Otas says:

    Thanks Shola. They are dangerous lines indeed 🙂

  8. Ogochukwu says:

    Touching….very touching…reminds me of….

  9. Belinda Otas says:

    Ogo, talk oh! What does it remind you of…lol!! Thanks for your comment as always.

  10. Ogochukwu says:

    Hmmm….it reminds me of….infact i wont say until you “bribe” me….lol

  11. Belinda Otas says:

    Joker! 🙂

  12. Temitayo says:

    This is really moving…loved the delivery, everything! Girls are still sexually assaulted and play the silence game. Some don’t even understand what is being done. Most times, it’s some Uncle/Daddy John, some close relative somewhere…really sad 🙁

  13. greys. says:

    “35 still for therapy and i don’t know what hurts more….’
    poem is so touching….i loved the whole bit

  14. Femi Ojo says:

    Seems the poem was inspired by the writer’s personal experience or someone close. Never mind my inquisitiveness….cheers!

  15. Belinda Otas says:

    Sorry to disappoint you, as your inquisitiveness is leaning on the wrong angle, a news story has sometimes been the source of a novel/short story…

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