kenyaThe crack of an orange African dawn

Signifies the beginning of this ceremony
It’s brutally cold outside
The stillness of early morning
Creeps underneath my bare skin
I can hear ululations from excited women
The men chant victory war like songs
Drum beats in the distance align to my heart’s rhythm
Crisp air escapes into my cold nostrils
Realizations I have pressed down
Standing amidst boys I have grown up with
I feel a sense of Massive anxiety
Loneliness even
Will I measure up to them
Can I measure up to my parents
Will the elders understand
My independence now

It gets colder
My fingers begin to randomly freeze
I must not give in to elements of nature
I am stark naked
Yet I feel no shame
I look down at my foreskin
Seemingly for the last time
Cold has not woken my clueless manhood yet
This I must go through
Dancing, music, songs of our fore fathers
Lead us to the calm welcoming river
My skin freezes in shock
As grey mud is smeared all over my body
I mustn’t show fear
Or even hesitate
A slap from an elder follows harshly
And I blink back hot tears
I must accomplish this task
If not for my dark skin
You’d see blood drain from my entire being
As the sharp knife skillfully slithered across my foreskin
Indescribable pain
I cannot even visibly wince
Sweet relief, maybe
No one tells you of these pains
I am standing still like a statue
My clueless manhood now awake
Head held high
Facing forward, staring
Staring at nothing
Staring at something
Staring at everything
My beloved foreskin is gone
So is my boyhood
A full blooded man I become


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