When She gave birth alone, in her small room, she was rather disgusted to note how much her baby’s
father had lied to her. First off, he had promised the baby would be cute. Yet as She looked at the pitiful, panting and bloody creature on the floor in front of her, she felt shockingly repulsed. And that wasn’t all!
Her baby had practically gnawed and bit its way out of her, even though the thing’s Father had sworn, as a last comical promise, that giving birth did not hurt. She supposed the masculine was better equipped to determine the pains of the feminine. It was strange, she realised.
Ugly, weak and repulsive as her baby was, she eventually found herself loving the thing. He
would never hurt her! She was his mother; he needed her. The thing grew pitifully slow. It latched on to She, like a parasite of her own flesh and blood. At first it had necessitated much encouragement; the thing had been hiding its appetite.
She had had to nurse and sing her tiny baby into returning to her breasts several times a day. How exciting that first growth spurt had been, though!
A thin trail of blood ran down her baby’s chin.
Looking down, she saw the deadened lump on her chest and almost screamed! Her breast looked dead and black. Her baby’s father would never return to such an unappealing sight! Resignedly, she vowed to get rid of the breast in the morning. Perhaps she would grow another.
In a painful bit of parenting, She had to whoop the baby’s bottom several times. He cried and cried and admittedly, She’s hands left bruises. When shas done, the baby crawled to a corner and sat, sobbing for his father.
Time and time again the cycle repeated itself. He hurt her, she inflicted a punishment, and rather than learn, the baby called for his Fatherly intervention.
Still, She got frailer, her breath got shorter and blood matted the pillow where she coughed in her sleep. Eventually, Father came to visit.
Father’s baby could hardly believe how long the former had abandoned him to Mother’s cruel devices, to isolation from a much larger world he knew must exist outside of Mother’s weakened arms.
He looked at Father first with trepidation, then slight annoyance, then open distaste. Father, on the other hand, did not shift in expression.
Impenetrable disappointment marred his face. He held the discarded, deadened breast in one hand. “Mercy!” She’s dying frame begged. “Nourishment!” The child-baby demanded.
“You will have neither.” Father said coldly. And just like that, She’s entire body turned as black as the
dead breast, and Father turned on his heel and was gone.
She’s last dying thought, several days later, as she watched her baby scream and writhe in hunger and fury, was how ironic it was that her child would die because he had not known to love her – while She would because undoubtedly, she had loved him too much.
The Earth begs. She weeps. Love all your mothers.
By Veronique Mbaiye