In this skirt
We are little red riding hood -
strip-searched by growling eyes,
rampant in our urban no man’s land,
hungry for fear, thirsty for shame.
Here, tradition polices our homes-
knocking down doors,
to measure feminine respect
for starched ancestors,
the uniform our voices must wear.
So folklore washes its hands off
our breathing skin, naming it “raw” -
bait to rabid sheep with no shepherd,
howling wolves in fancy dress
desperate for satiation through sight.
I unapologetically chose
to emancipate the taboo your whispers clothe
and parade before your appetite,
with my picnic basket, vulnerable -
Please, look away while we undress.
Chrissie Chinebuah is an aspiring lawyer from Ghana. She first began writing poetry in 2010 and has since been published four times, most recently by Momaya Press, Agbowó and Through the Eyes of African Women. She also served as the editor-in-chief at Boston University, her alma mater, for a publication entitled The Chimaerid.