An Excerpt Just for Readers of This Blog
He lacked the speech and was teased, mocked.
People regularly targeted, labelled, and bullied him.
They did not believe in his ability to learn and succeed,
They repeatedly told him loudly, in his face
And ears with intent to persuade him about himself.
They predestined him for failure because he was unable to speak.
He remained silent for a long time, listening carefully.
He observed motions on their lips; he absorbed words and sounds.
Then, one early morning, still in bed,
While everyone was in their last dream or nightmare,
And when time had healed and ended his grieving,
The miracle happened: he spoke!
Words and sounds gusted out of his mouth
Like a volcano erupting after a century of long sleep,
He spoke, he spoke, and he spoke volumes!
He talked firmly to himself or maybe to an invisible entity or spirit,
Repeating verbatim words that he had been absorbing:
The same terms used to tease, label, and mock him,
To bully and denigrate him, to silence him and cast him out.
From the bed where I slept, after we were allowed,
I saw him walking outside like a soldier going to war,
Brave and determined to defend his persona with words!
The struggle was out there, and he went to fight it
With his only but most potent weapon: words!
Words used in a common way: verbally, loudly, and firmly.
He knew the power of words, used for any purpose.
Now equally equipped to face the struggle in his early life,
He spoke correctly just as he had observed words on lips,
Using the same words to tease, mock, or intimidate.
To the big disbelief of all, though I had prayed and pleaded
To my ancestors and God that one day he would speak,
Zola had proven at last his ability to pronounce words.
Soon he would go to school to learn words in books,
To write words on a blackboard or in a notebook,
On a wall or on the ground, carving on a tree or on leaves.
Words pronounced in speech to make a statement,
Words spoken with confidence in a native or foreign language,
Words used to argue, defend opinions, convince, and lead,
Words that would further educate and engineer his brain,
Words as a tool to beat all odds and rise exceptionally like a star,
Indeed, words were clearly spoken by his mouth from this point on.
What liberation, relief, blessing, and privilege!
Buy the Book
If you’re interesting in Utanu Maa’s work, you can purchase it at any of these places.
INDIGO CHAPTERS https://www.chapters.indigo.ca/en-ca/books/rise-and-fall-of-my/9780228836513-item.html
BARNES & NOBLE https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/rise-and-fall-of-my-beloved-utanu-maa/1138021915
BOOK DEPOSITORY https://www.bookdepository.com/Rise-and-Fall-of-My-Beloved-Utanu-Maa/9780228836506
RAKUTEN KOBO https://www.kobo.com/ca/en/ebook/rise-and-fall-of-my-beloved
APPLE BOOKS https://books.apple.com/us/book/rise-and-fall-of-my-beloved/id1538242460
For the full post about Utanu Maa, which was part of a blog tour sponsored by Goddess Fish, check out Rise and Fall of My Beloved.