‘It is the curse’, they darkly say
But had I not been born
No one would have known
No one would have had to mention the curse
I look like my mother
And my face reveals no trace of my father
I am the innocent child of a crime
Committed by two young people
Many, many years ago.
It was never my fault and that the gods knew
I have been spared twisted limbs
And a disfigured face
I have not been branded by the mark of Cain
My teeth have not been set on edge
By the sour fruit my parents bit into
When they no longer could bear the ache of desire
When the bloom of her womanhood
Melted into the dark attractiveness
Of her clansman whose fine features
Sharply etched in virile confidence
Proved altogether irresistible.
They shared the same ancestral mother
Only as siblings could they have belonged to each other
It was when natural instincts prevailed over law
That the blood of the clan from then on
Flowed polluted and sluggish.
I was told my father came to see me
And that tears welled up in his eyes
When my baby hands reached out to him
I gurgled at the stranger
That was the closest we got.
My mother never found anyone new, but he did.
She too was beautiful.
The ceremony of their marriage was held far away
Safe from the reach of damaging revelation
The happy bride was never told about the skeleton in the cupboard
She never had children though she did try at first.
For years she was made to feel inadequate
Every woman after all is meant to bear fruit
But those who knew said it was the curse
That had caught up with my father
The only way he could have laid it to rest
Was by telling her about me.
But he chose not to
He found it easier to live with a lie
Than to sleep with the truth.