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.