The flowers do not follow the bees around.
They blossom where they are and the world comes to them.
When that boy with skin like dirt comes to you
and whispers sweet nothings in your ear,
when he whispers that you are more beautiful
than the flowers the Lord made,
take a step back, look him in the eyes and say,
“Thank you, I know.”
Do not allow him to waste your time with things you already know.
Remind yourself that flowers burn when they stand too long in the sun.
Remind yourself that flowers die when they are picked.
Remind yourself that flowers are meant to be beautiful,
regardless of the insects that surround them.
Above all else, remind yourself
that you are not a flower.
You are a human being.
Skin, blood and bones.
You are a woman.
Worth more than just your bride price.
You. Are not. A flower.
© 2017 Phindu Zaie Banda. All rights reserved. Reproduction or transmission of this work in any part or form is strictly prohibited without the author’s prior written consent.
About the author
Phindu Zaie Banda is a 21 year old Malawian feminist who is passionate about using poetry to advocate for social justice. Since starting writing in 2014, she has headlined many spoken word events and released an album titled “Bodies are (not) Homes.”
Phindu is inspired by everyday life and writes honestly about her own fears, joys and sorrows. She currently resides in Lilongwe, Malawi and is working on her first book, “Sticks, Stones and Broken Poems.”
African Global Networks (AGN) – September 2019