by Angela Prew

My beautiful flower
In one night,
her light extinguished,
her vivid life discoloured,
the joy of youth siphoned out.

My eventual acceptance
of that unacceptable act
was in my head but not my heart.
To be the rock that she required
I could not allow myself to feel.

Now, in her novel
we live through it again.
That night, in all its detail,
is essential to the plot
and I, as critic,
experience that unimaginable act,
ripped apart
as she was then.

So when, with emotions tautly strung,
I read about ‘corrective rape’
in our Townships
my skin crawls
with horror.
What these ignorant young men
excuse, describe as necessary,
to introduce the girls to ‘normal sex’
is nothing less
than murder.


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