She made her way silently into the forest,
The sounds of danger loud in the distance,  did not fill her with foreboding,
Her pain and anguish led her on, halting temporarily her fear of the forest.
Wearing nothing but a wrapper across her chest, the despondent maiden made her way into the forest.

Seven years she had tarried, counting on sticks her monthly cycle.
Seven years she had prepared, for a sign of carrying a fetus.
Seven years she had cried as all her friends had brought forth their offspring.
Seven years was more than enough to push her into the shrine of the Oracle.

Her husband had brought their enemies to the ground.
With his spear he had charged and led their village to victory,
Countless battles he was the hero, But in this one thing he fell short.
He had begun to feel his manhood being questioned,
Who would sing songs of his great feats in battle?
If there was no one to carry his name at death.

Seven years he had waited, gulping all the herbal concoction they brought forth.
Seven years he had protected her, his family would dare not utter a word at his presence.
Seven years he was now wary, he would let his hand be forced.
Seven years he had loved her, now it was time to love another.

She stopped suddenly as her feet crushed stone,
The pain sending shock jolts through her spine.
For a split second she made as if to come to her senses
Fear temporarily flashing by, crawling into her nostrils
“I must continue “ “I must continue “she thought to herself.
Salvation peeked at her a few steps away.

She stopped at the foot of the Iroko tree as was instructed.
With a blink of an eye she threw down her wrapper.
Stark naked she held out the calabash, staring at an unseen deity
Tears flowed freely down her face, her pride washed off she was now empty.
Incantations she had memorized she began to recite.
The smell of a cooked meal attracting the wolves for a bite.

Time stood still for a moment as the maiden waited for a sign,
Fear had returned, she began to doubt the eyes of the oracle
Tears began to flow down her face but for a different reason
Surely she had not risked it all to become prey for the ungodly.
With a swift motion she dropped the calabash filled with roasted yam.
She had done her part, death would not twist its way to her in this forbidden Lawn.
With a twist of her hands her wrapper was firmly back in place.
Her legs picked up speed she would not die in this place.