Narrow waist like the thin stick at the center of palm fronds

Caramel skin glistening under the sunshine,

Small feet the size of Akuete’s cups,

Brown eyes cloudy with longing and hurt

Short strands a striking resemblance to mother nature’s mane

The color of the earth

her lips were stationed

Beneath wide nostrils and

the dotting of puberty

Perhaps the result of copulation

of sun rays with this caramel surface

Or the horrid child produced by the love affair

Of mosquitoes and Otito’s skin.


Thin arms making way to ample breasts

The dipping of her collar bone – virtue’s perfect nest

Rounded calves like perfect lumps of garri

Little toes submerged in the coolness of the stream.


On and on Otito journeyed into this adventure

A story of becoming

The raw unpleasant smell of womanhood

Sweeter than the yellow sticky mango juice

Swaying her waist with the intent of exhuming

The ancient artifact that the journey possessed

Otito understood the beauty of herself

In the reflection of every unspoken word.


Okoli Chimamaka Esther is a law undergraduate student of Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka, Nigeria. She is passionate about women’s and children’s rights. She is a volunteer at codelearning where she teaches children for free. When she isn’t writing poems or reading, she is cooking or spending quality time with her friends and family. She believes that creativity is an expression of courage.