Daughter, take this amulet
tie it with cord and caring
I’ll make you a chain of coral and pearl
to glow on your neck. I’ll dress you nobly.
A gold clasp too – fine, without flaw
to keep with you always.
When you bathe, sprinkle perfume, and weave your hair in braids
string jasmine for the counterpane.
Wear your clothes like a bride,
for your feet anklets, bracelets for your arms…
Don’t forget rosewater,
don’t forget henna for the palms of your hands…
About this poem
This poem, representing Kenya, is part of The Written World – our collaboration with BBC radio to broadcast a poem from every single nation competing in London 2012.