The Girl In The Picture

(Disclaimer: I leave this poem on my blog so that it can be a reminder of where I’ve come from, and how much I’ve grown, and how much more growing there’s still to do) 

Girl in the picture

I wonder

How does it feel like,

When the thing stuck in your mouth,

Slowly tightens its hold on your neck,

Holding you prisoner as the object of his desire?

When the choking is the sound of your brain

Slowly turning to mush,

Against the picture of your nakedness?

You are the source of his inflated pride.

I wonder,

How does it feel like?

When your feet tread on used condoms,

Sticky with the remnants of his seed?

The tattered picture of your face,

Is the canvas that he lays your worth?

Tell me,

Do you ever wonder?

If he’ll stop staring at your breasts

Long enough to start talking to your face?

Have you ever asked him the colour of your eyes

And you got told the shape of your thighs?

He lowers his gaze to your navel

As if too ashamed to see the reflection of his mother.

Girl in the picture

He pays you off with new shoes

Shopping sprees, rides in expensive cars

I wonder

What’s the price you pay?

When your heart slowly starts to rot

Do you gag on the stench of your dreams?

Does your surrender, your defeat,

Flow out in the form of tears?

Your body is your temple

God’s finest work, your refuge

Your body, an object of his play?

Do you remember,

When proud African mothers

Dug you out

From the forgotten depths of history?

Save the girl child, save the world

Save the girl child, sell her to the world?

Girl in the picture

Do you remember, when she sweated blood

Her callused hands held your crying body

Wiped your tears and fed you her breast?

Once your sustenance, now a medium of exchange?

You are the daughter of queens

Hold you head high

And show respect for their fight

Girl in the picture,

Show respect for the royal blood

That flows through your veins

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  • mrsmwiti  On June 4, 2011 at 4:28 am

    Lovely poem. Very well written.

  • jacquendinda  On June 4, 2011 at 4:38 am


  • Owjay  On June 4, 2011 at 4:42 am

    Am all for this.very good piece

  • Wanjeri  On June 4, 2011 at 5:11 am

    That was powerful! Check out my poem ‘Queen’ some time. We are all truly are royal and should never forget that!

    I always get so angry at first when such things happen [nude pictures, videos, allegations of infidelity or other lewd behaviour] but then it turns to sadness.

    Where is the condemnation for the man who shames the woman? How is he a ‘hero’? 😦

  • QQ  On June 9, 2011 at 5:15 pm

    OMG. Amazing. Loved it. Powerful. Touching.

  • Katungua  On July 5, 2011 at 10:01 am

    I like this poem….no I love this poem,:)

    I have a couple of books of miscellaneous rumblings from high school, college….your blog touched that nerve:)

  • Mak'Omondi  On September 8, 2011 at 6:14 am

    A great piece.

  • wiselar  On September 8, 2011 at 6:45 am

    Very well done. I like the way you wrap it up.

  • Oweggi  On September 8, 2011 at 7:11 am

    Powerful. Hopefully every princess will take note

  • gitts  On September 8, 2011 at 7:39 am

    if only we knew what we were worth!
    good stuff

  • Michelle  On September 8, 2011 at 8:31 am

    Deep stuff…. good stufff.. Love it.

  • Mars  On July 9, 2012 at 4:28 pm


  • beauty exchange  On May 2, 2013 at 3:37 pm

    Thanks for finally writing about >The Girl In The Picture | BintiM <Liked it!


  • By #Wamathai911: A Review « Me I Think… on September 11, 2011 at 9:12 am

    […] Mswahili aka @bintiM wowed us with two pieces. I particularly remember one of her pieces which was inspired by #tittytuesdays, where she poked and prodded at the demeaning nature of the […]

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