Yes Poetry - What is it about brown girls?
This poem, originally published in Quail Bell Magazine, pays tribute to all South Asian women across the globe for their unparalleled strength, perseverance and immense understanding as they traverse and survive through patriarchal norms.
brown girls have hair of various
persuasions – straight, greasy, frizzy
eyebrows bushy and uni-brows a norm.
faces playing a ‘fifty shades of brown’ game, brown
hued skin deeming us
pudgy belly's and muffin tops from all the masala
biryani, keema & qorma
hair greasy from the
leftover, unwashed coconut oil massaged in
from the kaam wali. black locks turn wavy
skidding past melanin laced shoulders.
hair unkempt, blown in a frenzy by
Storm Freya. white girls
hair stays straight.
‘is it glued to their head?’ the brown girls
mama sends the phone flashing,
hello pyari beti
unchecked phone for 3 hours is a south asian no-
brown girlfriends catching your vibe as
auntie’s note the pimples in your
on your thigh chub, gazes lingering just below
seeking refuge with house help
coming from inner-Pakistani villages – they catch your vibe
somehow everyone catches your vibe
except the aunties and uncles.
brown girls who listen to mama’s stories,
fetch daddy’s medication
finance little brother’s education
brown girls who are multitudes
colouring outside the lines,
stretching the box patriarchy
set for them.
girls with big
dreams and wild fantasies knotted to their
girls who sacrifice.
The original home (Yes Poetry) for this poem can be found at -