**Kagiso A. Maphalle
I Do.. Do.. Do.. Do.. Do..
I heard the song play
Sweet sound of the soprano melody
Its pitch so high
Higher than my screams
As I reach out to cover my face
His fists slamming into me
Do.. Do.. Do..
I hear cheering
Laughter, as they clap their hands
Elated at this new union forming
Now their echoes are mirrored by the crashing of glass on the floor Cling.. Cling.. Clap.. Clap
Bated breaths as I walk down the aisle
Air held in… In awe
Today, I lie here hearing the silence
Am I dead yet?
*Author’s Note: This poem is about a bride’s reflection – contrasting the joy of her wedding day with the physical abuse she experiences at the hands of her husband.
**Kagiso Maphalle, an Advocate of the High Court of South Africa, is a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Private Law under the Chair in Customary Law, Indigenous Values and Human Rights at the University of Cape Town.