Picture Perfect

Picture this:

a reserved girl. Newly crowned with shiny, long, dark hair. Standing on wobbly legs, she poses in front of a dreary hospital – despite the circumstances, she almost looks cheerful with a small smirk forming on her lips. This young girls earliest memory was of the hospital; in those startling fluorescent lights, time becomes unidentifiable; the thin walls that constantly omitted others anguish – amplifying at night – almost as if the walls were more vulnerable in the dark; in a small girls eyes, even the hallways were too long of a distance to travel. “Weak” is how the doctors described her, physically unpromising and easily persuaded. But you see, that small smirk forming on her lips is a spark to the start of something strong and unbreakable.

For now, however, her dad is capturing this moment in time – counting up to three – that’s when he’ll click the shutter. In three counts, this is the world through her eyes:



the magical year when I was stolen from myself.

“What a foolish girl”,

you must say

“how dumb that you allowed others greedy eyes to steal something so vital.”

My answer is,

I didn’t allow them.

They came like a thief in the night;

stealing my most valuable possessions;

quietly creeping;

eyes like slits;

managing to destroy my home from

the outside in.

Their eyes crawled up my spine

putting everything that was mine up for sale,

I am no garage sale.

But how do I tell them to stop

when the men before me

robbed my fellow sisters of the body they too

once called home?

How do I tell you to stop

when your naked eyes can rip through my shirt and undress me?

I shiver at the thought of what your hands can do.


This body –

no longer mine.




driving on the long, sharp roads

I felt like I saw the mountains for the first time.

Have you ever seen the way the majestic mountain tops glaze the clouds;

desperate to be a part of something higher than itself,

or is it the other way around?

The clouds long to be closer to the earth;

and the only way is for them to discretely kiss the mountain tops.


That is how I felt for the longest time,

but when my head was stuffed down a toilet;

puking out my anxiety

from finding out my health is failing;


I realized

whether I am slathered in makeup

or skin bare as the dessert,

my femininity and fragility

are not yours to construct.

Not free for your taking.


This body –

has always been mine.




I know not when I will go from this body,

but today is the day

I will reclaim

my body,

my mind,

my emotions,





Now, picture the same fragile girl turned into a mighty woman; newly crowned with the scars of her existence. No longer standing on wobbly legs, rather, her thighs are etched with lighting marks; a force of nature to be reckoned with. She once again poses in front of a vibrant hospital – despite the circumstances, her plump lips are parted into a wide grin – almost mockingly. Her earliest memory was of the hospital; however, those fluorescent lights no longer startle her, they are simply a necessity – to see; the sounds coming from the walls no longer disturb her for she can emphasize with the anguish; in a mighty woman’s eyes, the hallways are a short distance to travel compared to the distance she has had to endure in life. A “miracle” is how the doctors described her, physically defying all her odds and extremely headstrong. You can feel her strength omitting from this photograph. This photograph her father took many years ago, the beginning of her journey – a journey in three counts.


Image result for camera clicking gif


Little end note:

I feel like I owe a short explanation, for I have chosen a very abstract way to formulate this free choice blog. I begun and ended with a third person narrative, then in the middle, switching to first person when the characters father was counting up to three (in order to take her photo). I had hoped to capture the fluidity of her character evolution (reclaiming her own body even though she was diagnosed with a sickness that constituted an early death) through a static object – the photograph/her father’s counting. Hope you can find the method in the madness. 🙂

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4 thoughts on “Picture Perfect

  1. Bruh! I cannot articulate how much I love your work, Judy. Your creative pieces especially, they always blow me away!!!!! You’re so incredibly gifted, girl, I cannot wait to read even more of your work. You’re so magical, Judy, and I’m so glad you’re in the class. You make me sooo happy.

    Much love,
    Your loyal fan <3

    1. Dearest Ibukun,

      Ahhhh, thank you so much lovely. I hope you know that I feel the same way, but a thousand times more, about your writing and YOU as a person in general


  2. My dearest Judy,

    This was beautiful, and haunting. You truly captured this character’s voice and identity. She felt so real, even though she was portrayed through a poetic medium. I love this translation of a fleeting life through a fleeting medium, photography. I enjoy the perspective shifts, they imply her death, instead of brutally dictating it. It maintains the tragedy, but doesn’t detract from the beauty of the piece. The way you captured three fundamental moments in the three clicks of the camera encompassed your concept fantastically. I got so my ideas for my own poetry for this piece. Finally your ideas of femininity and female-hood were so powerful and inspirational.

    Finding things to work on are hard, as this is a creative piece. My only thought is to add more of the italicized “punch” words. Don’t over-saturate the piece, but there were a few places where a more aggressive nature, especially in the “one” stanza. However, that is up to you as the owner of this creative voice.

    I am so inspired by your work, and so grateful to get to know it. As the semester moves forward, I can not wait to pick your brain more.



    1. Dearest Claire,

      Thank you so much for your kind words!! For sure, I totally agree with you regarding being a bit more agressive in the first stanza, that’d add more ”power” in a sense. I’m so glad that you’ve joined this class, even through class discussions I can hear the brilliance of your thoughts – and don’t even get me started on your writing.

      Once again, thank you so much for your feedback, I look forward to knowning you more as a writer and a person!


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