Sorry I’m not for sale

By Kathryna Bobola

An entry in the Abt Associates Award for Women’s Literature

I wasn’t born with a price tag or a barcode.
Nor did I learn things in another household.
People said I wouldn’t maintain the workload
And that one day I would be forcibly sold

They promised me good fortune and delight,
Offered money my parents never saw or had.
It seemed like an abundant life was in sight,
I refused. My parents thought I’d gone mad.

“Sorry, I’m not for sale”
I’m more than the money you offer
And sure our future will fail
Just leave me alone, don’t bother.

I’m not Cinderella who works the kitchen
I’m educated with a degree in tourism
Anyway, your sisters are always bitching.
I’d rather be following, well, Buddhism.

Bride price means you’re the property of your man.
He liked you, put you on lay by and now owns you.
If he’s lazy, it’s you who’ll work with your hands,
Bear the kids, even digging out the loo.

I wasn’t born with a price tag or a bar code
Nor was I born to work another household
People said not married will make you explode.
But, hey, I survive without being sold.

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