TO LEAVE OR NOT TO LIVE, by Marve Michael

I’ve known Marve since she was 7 or 8, and I’ve only ever know her to be extremely sprightely, spirited. So to reach deep and dig out this poem, this sad poem that needs talking about, that highlights the horrible crime that is rape, attests to what I often tell her; that she needs to write more often, because I know that the world needs to read her.


I try not to remember too much of yesterday
But I don’t know how to live today.

There’s a strange feeling in my stomach
I’d hoped it was just anger but it really is the feeling—
Of being absolutely lost.

Every time I close my eyes I remember every bit of it,
Every thrust… the ache.
I felt his shadow cast across my body as he hid the keys
I knew what he wanted and I knew he’d take it.
By force.

What I did not know was that I had no courage.

I remember how he teased that my blouse made me look like a child.
But only I could see this child
Because later that night when he’d look into my eyes and hold my hands
He wouldn’t see any child, he would only see his prey.

He slept off afterwards and I just lay there.
Beneath the sheets staring blankly as I do now.

I’ve been here for over an hour and the nurse just called my name
She’ll tell me if I have the virus he may have harboured in his loins
I hear her calling my name again, but I cannot move anymore
I cannot speak. I cannot breathe.

The blade I held had cut deeply, into my wrists 
The pain, excruciating. 
But nothing compared to all of last night.
The closer she got to me the deeper I felt it.
I grew faint as people gathered around me,

I see him, standing among them, drawing nearer to me.
I hear him shouting my name pretending to care that I bled from my wrist.
His face is the last thing I see as I faded away quietly,
before I close my eyes
I hear him shouting something,
I wanted to scream and tell everyone that whatever he spoke was lies
But I was too far gone.

And even in that moment I chose whatever uncertainty death held
Over whatever life he had for me.

Bright lights, beep, bright lights beep bright lights. Beep beep beep…

“Marve is a 21 year old graduate of Economics from Covenant University whose writing has appeared in publications like the Daily Africa Group. She blogs often at”


4 Comments Add yours

  1. Temidee says:

    Short incomplete sentences, yet so much details in them all…the beauty of poetry. Excellent piece, Marve!

  2. Bayo says:

    These type of poems give me chills. Because they are someone’s reality. And that’s just sad. Sad on so many levels.

    Well done Mate.

  3. Temi says:

    My beautiful girl.
    Beautifully woven words to enact this horrible reality that many girls the world over have to live with.
    Well written.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s