Lyric Fire: Pretty Girl Cry: A Poem

wrapped in sunshine

bathed in lava light

magnified, yet dimished

expected to exude happiness


even in the midst of calamity


the shell can’t crack


the fantasy can’t die

they exist to be projected

like movies on a white screen




they switch and sway

creating a hypnotic rhythm

heels don’t ever touch the ground

they are angels

and witches

and whores

and princesses

all in one


all wearing plastic smiles

they laugh too loud

drink too hard

they are everyone’s friend

they are too pretty to be anyone’s real enemy

never having a bad day

all is well with the world

even when it’s rainy

and cold

and they are down to their last dime


a smile will solve all of their


just smile


let me see those pearly whites


irises are straining

jaws locked into place

backs erect

tummys taunt

calves popping

what a specimen you are


sidewalks are catwalks

can you twirl for me ma?

yes, just like that

can i have some of what you’re eating?

you have no right to enjoy an ice cream cone alone

on a hot day

pretty girls must share everything


their souls


and of course those magical smiles

every moment is joyous for a pretty girl


nail polish doesn’t chip

gas tanks stay full

food is plentiful

rent is free

student loans forgiven


the only bad thing a pretty girl can ever do



© 2012 – 2014, TamekaMullins. All rights reserved.

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.

Jul 5, 2012 | Posted by in Blog, Tamstarz Poetry | 20 comments

Comments (20 Responses)

  1. Jessica says:

    You capture it all so well. Great poem.

  2. Thanks so much Jessica. Bless you!

  3. Neil says:

    Brilliant! Really like this poem.

  4. Coming from such an amazing poet as yourself Neil, I am truly honored! Thank you!

  5. Ooo ooo…so was that a praise or a mockery on pretty gals? Very creative Tam…Brilliant!

  6. Dawn says:

    Oh my. What a timely post, Tameka. Everything you wrote, everything to which you gave voice…yes. We’ve all been put in that position before as women, and you gave it such eloquent description.
    I will say that in the midst of a maelstrom of tears in my own life recently, with not a speck of makeup on my face, my hair a mess and me feeling like I looked a complete wreck, someone told me I was beautiful. It blew my mind, but it also reminded me that there are occasionally those Golden people in the world who do let us be authentic. Real. Flawed and fallible. And if we’re truly fortunate, they allow us to cry and do not see us as diminished because of it.
    Keep burning the pages, sister. You are so talented. <3
    - Dawnie

  7. Brilliantly written and so moving with that twist at the end. Loved it!

  8. Elramey says:

    The shell can’t crack ever…
    Culture enslaves women to their masks hiding the real person.
    The poem speaks of how women become objects, false images, and superficial facades, “they exist to be projected like movies on a white screen.” Unreal. Shallow.
    “Scripted.” They are handed the part to play from birth, all the roles that never define the genuine soul.
    And so they learn to be everyone’s friend. Except for those who matter most.
    If she can’t cry, she’s half-dead inside.
    How well you have portrayed the “pretty girl” mon amie!
    My question to writers,
    What walls are you facing that could be removed a handful at a time?

  9. I’m giving you a cyber-hug as I say thank you Dawn. It is nice when people recognize that beauty goes deeper than skin level and it can be a comfort during trying times.
    I wrote this piece because I have experienced some things and have seen other women on the street go through the same and it can eat at you after awhile. Everyone likes to feel valued and get compliments, but at times you start to feel like a science project if you’re always expected to be smiling, perky and bopping to life’s beat all of the time. Every person deserves moments of reflection without having to bare their teeth, share their food and pose! LOL! Thanks as always for your engagement dear. Your comments always add value.

  10. Hi Mani! I wanted to shine a light on women in this poem and show that we are more than just shells. Definitely a praise piece! But, if someone interprets it the other way around I can’t refute it, because art is digested differently by everyone. Thanks for the visit lady! 🙂

  11. Hi Martha! Thanks so much dear heart! I had been missing poetry. I guess after writing 30 poems in April I needed a break, but I’m back! Blessings to you!

  12. Debra! Yes! You broke it down sister. That was exactly what I was trying to convey in this piece. Men and women have been conditioned to play certain roles and because of it we don’t communicate very well at times.
    We expect all men to love sports and be able to fix cars and repair home appliances, all women are supposed to look like fashion models when they wake up in the morning. A pretty girl/woman can never have serious thoughts while walking down the street or she is deemed evil and mean. We need to let people be and have their moments. Thanks so much for adding your voice to the discussion!

  13. You said it Tameka. It isn’t easy and it isn’t right to live under other people’s perceptions and expectations of you…
    I couldn’t breathe like that ~ God wishes us to be free:*

  14. Andy says:

    WoW! This poem certainly packs a punch! I’ve said it before and I’ll continue to say it…a woman’s true beauty lies in her imperfections. I do not fit the “normal” man. I am not in the least bit “handy”, I don’t like to get my hands dirty and a simple flower can bring me to tears, but that doesn’t make me any less of a man. What I might lack in one quality, I make up for in another. Excellent poetry, especially that twist at the end! Thank you sharing.

  15. Andy, I love getting a male perspective when it comes to pieces like this and I truly appreciate what you have shared. Thanks for dispelling so many silly myths about men. Thank God for guys like you. I know you would never behave in the manner that is described in this poem. You’re too much of a gentleman. Please don’t ever change! 🙂

  16. So true dear Melissa! Thanks so much for sharing your thoughts! 🙂

  17. Janaki Nagaraj says:

    Beautiful and powerful.

  18. Thanks Janaki!

  19. Adriene says:

    Great poem, Tameka. Society puts so many expectations on women.

  20. Thanks Sweepy. Yes, WE do! Men and women put these expectations out there that are difficult to live up to.

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