Ugly

By Warsan Shire

Your daughter is ugly.
She knows loss intimately,
carries whole cities in her belly.
 
As a child, relatives wouldn’t hold her.
She was splintered wood and sea water.
They said she reminded them of the war.
  
On her fifteenth birthday you taught her
how to tie her hair like rope 
and smoke it over burning frankincense.
 
You made her gargle rosewater
and while she coughed, said
macaanto girls like you shouldnt smell
of lonely or empty.
 
You are her mother.
Why did you not warn her,
hold her like a rotting boat
and tell her that men will not love her
if she is covered in continents,
if her teeth are small colonies,
if her stomach is an island
if her thighs are borders?
 
What man wants to lay down 
and watch the world burn 
in his bedroom? 
 
Your daughter’s face is a small riot,
her hands are a civil war,
a refugee camp behind each ear,
a body littered with ugly things
 
but God, 
doesn’t she wear
the world well.

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on whatsapp
Share on telegram
Share on email
A.ward X Loso: It's Ok To Not Be O... x
A.ward X Loso: It's Ok To Not Be Ok (Spoken Word)

About Us

Pick Me Up Poetry seeks to be an agent of change in society by fostering cross-cultural dialogue and providing much-needed information and representation for writers and performers. We offer our followers insightful glimpses into cultures around the globe through various mediums including our online articles, poetry collections, spoken-word videos and more. 

The Poetry Network
🌍 Public group ~ 5.3K members
Open Group
The Poetry Network
🌍 Public group ~ 5.3K members
Open Group
LEVEL UP!
Drop your email and we'll send you 25 poetry editing guidelines to help transform your creative writing!
Send It!
LEVEL UP!
Drop your email and we'll send you 25 poetry editing guidelines to help transform your creative writing!
Send It!
Join Our Family & Subscribe To Our Newsletter
Privacy Policy: This information will never be shared with third parties.
Subscribe Now!
Join Our Family & Subscribe To Our Newsletter
Privacy Policy: This information will never be shared with third parties.
Subscribe Now!