Hung Before I Am Heard
I am gagged. Live on other people’s terms.
I have no voice.
I try to speak. They shut me up.
Be grateful, they say,
The homeless would jump at the opportunities you have.
Be happy, they muse, be contented.
You have shelter.
But a shelter that I am squeezed into.
I feel imprisoned in it. I live in bondage.
I am free but I live in chains.
Condemned like a criminal, breathing behind the iron bars.
Kept in a room where I can only sit. It is arduous to stand.
I have become frail.
I am battered. I am broken.
No one wants to come to me.
I have no voice.
Not out of cowardice; but out of helplessness.
Life seems meaningless. It is useless to fight.
They take stock. Everyday separating the living from the dead.
The living wish to die. The dead find solace in the peace which is death.
Even this tunnel does not promise light.
Wallowing in self-pity is a norm,
wrapped in cloth of depression and pain.
Feelings of disillusionment rip my soul apart
as it holds on to the trenches of hope.
But there seems to be no glimmer of hope.
Even as the glimmer of light is struggling to seep in,
darkness pushes hard.
When is my freedom?
It is long overdue.
No matter what my face reflects, the struggle is real on the inside.
Many have gone with the tides.
Life has happened to some, but many are hanging on to the thin thread of hope.
The question is when? How soon will it be?
Teardrops, long sighs.
How I wish freedom was near. This struggle is forlorn.
I hope I survive. That my life will get better.
That the light will permeate.
Believe In You!
I feel the hurt, the rejection. It pierces through my skin.
It rips my heart open. The blood of dejection gushes out.
The pain cleaves my bone. Grief holds my soul captive.
The pain brings me to the very cringe of my existence.
Indeed, it is not fair, the way my life has been relegated,
the way hope was taken away from me.
It’s been quite a journey,
bearing a burden larger than life, no one caring about me.
Not the world, not anyone.
But I keep pushing.
To prove that my life isn’t a waste.
The burden on my shoulders weighs heavily,
but I will arise from the debris of rejection.
Because tomorrow depends on my choices.
To live or to die, to fail or to succeed.
Yes, life kicks hard, but live I must.
This rejection, this condemnation
is the drive for purposeful living.
I’ll succeed. I’ll rise above all relegation.
I will swim in the ocean of relevance.
For every door shut, I will open multiple doors.
My revenge for this hurt is success.
This pain will launch me into greatness.
I know it is hard. Some days I just want to give up.
But giving up won’t take me to my desired destination.
I need no escape. I just need to keep pushing.
Rejection becomes my catalyst to success.
It shines the torch. It creates a pathway.
I lay aside the burden of relegation.
I embrace my greatness.
Adedolapo Tunde-Muraina was born in Lagos, Nigeria. She migrated to Ireland in June 2019 and currently lives in a Direct Provision Centre in Borrisokane. A selection of her poetry has previously been published in Vessel of Voices: An Anthology of New Tipperary Writing, edited by John W. Sexton. She is currently on a Scholarship with Dublin City University studying Psychology (through its University of Sanctuary Programmes).