The Child

By Nthabiseng Mokoena

Thunder, lightning and storms as the heavens ululate and sing for the arrival of a child, a soul, a person…a human being.
Joy, excitement and hope as the father anticipates and wishes for the birth of a boy, a male, an heir….a son.
Emotions run high and thoughts run wild as the mother prays and pleads to deliver a girl, a woman, a baby girl…a daughter.
As she screams and scratches, pants and prays, she pushes once more to usher into the world the child, the soul, the person…the human being.
Questions, queries, thoughts and assumptions run through their minds as midwives. They stare in confusion, they wail and lament as they turn to the ancestors and ask; what is this that you have given us?
Villages, towns and townships run amok with rumours and riddles, tales and teachings of the cursed child, the hermaphrodite, the tranny…the “it”
Stares and snares, whispers and worries follow the child through every stage, every street, every corner…and every room.
The coldness and crudeness,
The isolation and ignorance.
All these constructed and contributed to me becoming the ‘I’
I who is mistreated and misunderstood.
I who is ignored and not included.
I who is butchered and mutilated.
I who is intersex.
I who is in the perfect form, state and variation.
I exist!

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