Ruth Sajonje

Ruth Sajonje was born in a village in Chad where she first discovered poetry and did some writing in her early years.  Facing female genital mutilation, she was rescued by an American couple and came to reside permanently in the United States.  During this very painful time, she continued her studies and read poetry voraciously.  She resumed writing poetry and found that both reading and writing poetry became a second salvation for her.  After adopting different styles of classic poetry she came to develop her own style and has been sharing her work more widely, making appearances at poetry readings in the New York City and northern New Jersey areas.  Her work can be found in CliteraturePoetry Saved My Life (2014), and other journals and anthologies.


Tangled Up in Pink


Early one morning

the unforgiving sun of the sub-Sahara was shining

and I was lying in bed

wondering if I had changed at all

and they said to me, those who were standing there,

that they had to remove a part of me

a part that had grown secretly all these years.


My pink blossom in the dark woods

had caused a stir in the desert

a stir that rocked the Rock at Mecca

and heralded trouble for me and my family,

my village, my world.


They wanted to take a part of me

my clitoris

a word I did not even know until

they wanted to take it away from me

a part that sprouted only now for me

was soon to be ripped

by the root

from me


a thing I didn’t even know I had.


Far, far away my cries called out

and gentle people rescued me from this cruel fate

from this extirpation, this violation

and brought me to the land where

my pink blossom of the dark woods

may bloom again in peace.