A Right Of Passage. (FGM)



 She wears the scars of the divine

They think she’ll forget given time.

that she’ll bow to the pain

And pray in his name.

But she won’t, instead,

she will cry in her bed

For God, on a mission,

Or ancient tradition.

The girls In her tribe

Just frown.

At the stain they see

On her gown.

The heat in her face

Infection slots In place.

Death is often the way

No one saved her today.

It happens In a home

Just like yours,

carried-out behind

Closed house doors.

When blood seeps

through the cracks,

it’s covered with a mat

Never is it mentioned


I didn’t think it could be,

Because I couldn’t see.

Not in a house that’s

Next door to me.


Author Notes

I was horrified and shocked when last year I read stories in the news of female genitalia Mutilation. Recently I watched a documentary where the girl who experienced this (at eleven years old) was given an opportunity to as a young woman, tell her thoughts. She was in shadow, voice distorted for the purpose of dignity, anonymity and safety. Although I knew of its existence I can't put into words how I felt knowing this is still practised by educated people, and worse here in the UK. By those that are second and third generations, born here. Compelled to get mine and her feelings on paper I compiled this.

14 Comments for “A Right Of Passage. (FGM)”

Karen Holt


Stark and gritty work. I too saw the recent television coverage and when the women read accounts of what happened, and cried, I cried too. It is but one of the ‘rituals’ that shame us as human beings. Thought provoking and powerful. Thank you Ellen, for putting this out there.

Raymond Tobaygo


Good morning, Ellen
Unfortunately you’ve captured the essence of this brutal ritual. The images within the poem were visceral and disturbing. I can’t imagine what the victims had to endure during this barbaric act.

On my other site I’ve got a few writers from the U.K. What part of it do you live?

Take care and stay safe,


charles stone


Nice. My mind cannot grasp the thought process of this ritual. It’s like trying to wrap my brain around war. This makes no sense and for it to continue in 2017 is unspeakable. I can’t….

reigny dai


People everywhere are doing everything. Many men and women consider circumcision to also be mutilation of the genitals. A piece like this, with its smooth flow and important message can be appreciated by a wide audience.

Gregory Shipman


Ahhh Ellen… how tragic the things that are done in the name of Social mores and traditions. Your poem brings it home with stark clarity. Butchery by any other name is still butchery…



Thanks for the read Greg, some things punch hard and you have to deal with that or ignore it. I want to put this forward to a magazine for female issues, to show these things need to stop… that the people in the street want it stopped regardless of any religion or ethnicity.

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