MY JOURNEY has not been easy.
But you have accompanied me all the way.
You have been my companion for better or for worse.
We are in this together – no more time for lame excuses, denials, myths and misinformation.
For all the days I forgot to acknowledge that you existed – forgive me.
For all the 32 years you allowed me to live. Love, laugh and blossom, yet I paid you no respect – forgive me.
For abandoning you, starving you, neglecting you and letting you feed on the delicate parts of my body – forgive me.
For all the days I ignored you and acted as if you were not an important part of my life – forgive me.
For the days I forgot to take you in and provide you with shelter, so you could work with my white blood cells – forgive me.
For all the times I hid my medications under the bed, in the basement, in the closet, threw them in the trash, flushed some down the toilet and pretended I had taken them – forgive me.
For all the doctor’s visits I failed to attend despite all the hints and warnings you gave me – forgive me.
For all the lies and conspiracy theories I spread about you forgive me.
For refusing to go for a free test to manage my CD4 count and Viral Load, forgive me!
HIV – I FORGIVE YOU
I have been thoughtless HIV, in word, action and deed.
When all I needed was to acknowledge you and say “Yes, we can co- exist and lead a comfortable life together.”
For all the ugly rashes, burns and bumps you scattered on my face and arms, I forgive you.
For the many times you disfigured my beautiful body, I forgive you.
For eating me up and wasting me away, I forgive you.
For painting my lips bright red against my will, acting like my make up, I forgive you!
For breaking up my marriage, I forgive you!
For all the days I did not drink enough water, please forgive me.
For all the days I did not eat well, forgive me.
For all the times I engaged in unprotected sex with a close friend of yours, please forgive me.
For all the babies I had and gave HIV, without attending pre-natal clinics, forgive me.
For welcoming you into my life both knowingly and unknowingly – forgive me.
It has not been an easy journey HIV.
THE LANGUAGE OF MEDIATION AND TESTS
For all the troubles you caused in my life – I forgive you and me.
For coming into my life at the wrong time – I forgive you!
For cruelly separating me from my children and family – I forgive you.
For making me an outcast in my society, I forgive you.
For making me homeless, I forgive you.
For not sharing the love of God with you and for not boasting of the great things He has done for me, even with you within me, I forgive me.
Now that I know you better, now that we speak the same language,
The language of medication and tests,
Doctor’s appointments and prevention, of advocacy, activism and self-care, the language of the free…
Now that we are on the same page HIV,
I am free! I am free! I am free!
HIV Poetry. Copyright Omwa Ombara (Dec.1, 2017)