For all the little girls growing up in today’s world. And especially for my daughter who is beautiful just as she is, and who should never conform to anyone’s standard of beauty

© Folakemi Emem-Akpan April 2015


Let’s count the many ways that you are perfect

Your hair, halfway between brown and black

Your eyebrows, thick and full

Your eyes, wide and full and filled with light

Your nose, a little too wide, just like your mother’s

Your lips, pink and tiny and a shape never before seen

Your cheeks, full and chubby, ideal contours

Your hue, the shade of a half ripe mango

Your arms and fists, uniquely freckled

Your legs, long and lean and endless

Your feet, huge like your dad’s, yet graceful


Now let’s count the real ways that you are perfect

Your genuine smile, soul-lifting and freely shared

The delight that you find in simple pleasures

Your knack for asking soul searching questions

Your helping hand, always willingly offered

Your sense of family, of togetherness

Your empathy for the underprivileged

Your hard work ethic and tenacity of purpose

Your discerning and probing spirit

Your artistic beautiful soul

And the generosity of your spirit


Daughter of my womb

Apple of my eyes

You have a beautiful container of a body

It might never conform to everyone’s standard

But it is beautiful because it is yours

And better still, your content is perfect

It will never conform to everyone’s expectation

But it is perfect because it is you

You, forged by a perfect God



Disclaimer: I have never been a poet, will never be a poet, and don’t aspire to become one. I believe I might have murdered certain given laws in poetry writing in my execution of this poem, but the swell of love I felt for my nine-year-old daughter one hot afternoon had to be expressed in the written form, and try as I did, I couldn’t get it out in prose (my preferred medium of writing). My apologies to all the great poets out there.

21 thoughts on “Perfect” by Folakemi Emem-Akpan (@Folakemi)

  1. Does it matter, @Folakemi? You daughter should read this. No, cross that, parents should read this out to their daughters as they grow, not in their formative years however. It sings of a deep-seated love. Ben fatto.

    1. thanks @Litera-wise. I had my daughter read it just three days ago and the look on her face was priceless. I will hold that close to my heart forever

  2. @FOLAKEMI. Hmmmmm……….now I’m jealous of your daughter, she is really lucky to have a mother like you just like you should count yourself lucky to have a daughter like her.
    I don’t know whether I’m a poet or not, one thing I do know however is that this is a lovely poem and I can call you a poet even if you say you are not. Nice one Poet Folakemi.

    1. thanks @danjuma for making my day. I find poems to be so hard to write, and that’s why I always give kudos to the people who do it so effortlessly. I am blessed to have my daughter in my life, just like every parent should feel blessed to have their children in their lives. I have a rambunctious five year old boy, and now he wants a poem written about him too. Lol

      1. @FOLAKEMI. I don’t blame him am not your child and am already jealous of this beautiful poem you wrote for your daughter. I cannot even imagine what he must be feeling, so you better hurry up and write one for him too.
        We are all waiting.

        1. okay oh i hear. will do. thanks once again

  3. Awwwwwww…. I’m not a poet either but it’s the love and the feeling you feel at that moment that makes more sense than the writing style or how well you formed it on paper.

    You’re daughter and every other little daughters out there are beautiful just the way the perfect maker made them. You and I too @folakemi

    1. @ufuomaotebele, thanks. Indeed we are all beautiful.

  4. Rhoiy (@Roy-journals)

    Aww! This is beautiful. I just can’t stop smiling. This is so love-filled. It is something to save for the future. My little cousin was all blushed up as her mother read it to her.

    Like Ufuoma said, it’s the love and the feeling you felt at that moment that matters. I always look forward to your pieces. There’s always a clear message.

    1. @roy-journals, thanks so much. And it’s a honour to have another little girl have this read to her. If every girl knows she is beautiful just as she is, we will have confident and well adjusted women in the future. cheers

  5. “You have a beautiful container of a body
    It might never conform to everyone’s standard
    But it is beautiful because it is yours”

    By the above, your daughter is appreciated for who she is!

    Who said u broke any rule? You might have as well created one. Who said you can’t invent rules anyway?

    I love the piece, just the disclaimer that is dead annoying! Anybody can be a poet…. @folakemi

    1. thanks @chime221 for your comment. Okay, I’m sort of agreeing (especially with all the wonderful comments on this piece) that anybody can be a poet. Thanks

  6. the feeling is mutual but you put it so beautiful.

  7. This came straight from the heart @folakemi . Your daughter’s definitely blessed to have a mom that’s loves her n most importantly is proud of her. More power to you ma’am.

    1. @six, thanks for your most kind comment

  8. (@Folakemi): no p. You were expressing your affection for your 9yr old, so no problemo with that.

    She will be glad having you as a mom.

  9. Hmmm…and you did it again.

    “You have a beautiful container of a body,
    It might never conform to everyone’s standards” But it is beautiful because it is yours.

    I share your sentiments,because my world is in the eyes of a little 10month old angel. I wrote something similar before I had her, I wrote another after. I’ll share them here someday, and then wait to share them with her when she’s older.
    And I’ll definetely read THIS to her.

    Thank u

    1. @eberenwosu, thanks for your comment. I know that feeling of seeing the sun rise and set in the eyes of your little one. This is hoping your daughter will grow up to become all that God has destined her to be. Cheers

  10. @Folakemi ,N I say a big Ameeeen 2 that..Thnx

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