Mourning by Honora Ankong

Honora Ankong

In some cultures, in West Africa,
the women are required to cut off their hair when mourning.
I saw my aunt bald and crying—
her husband was dead.
So, I find myself with a scissor to my hair ever so often,
mourning men, I’d once laid up with.
My mother sees me crying,
How do I tell her I am mourning the death of a man
that is still alive?

The lights are still on in the kitchen
of my heart, I sit feverishly still, staring at the cold meal
on the dinner table. I wait up for him every night,
my only company being the loud
Ticks and tocks of the clock.
I wait for him to find his way back home,
realize what he’s missed out on all this years.
He will lay on my bosom and tell me he was wrong,
there’s nothing out there in the world
that he desires more than the taste of my lips.

They say long hair makes you look beautiful
So, I take scissors to mines
After all there’s nothing beautiful about pain.


Honora Ankong is a 19 year old poet from Cameroon, West Africa. Majoring in English with a minor African-American Studies. She loves Art and fashion.

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