Talking to My Mother About Marriage Partnerships By Salma Deera

Talking to My Mother About Marriage Partnerships

get married soon,’ mother says.
‘it will be good for you. you’re getting old.
you need to have somebody with you.’
i ask her why why why, and it always
boils down to one word. partnership.
‘like the partnership between anjero and sugar.’
i tell her i dislike anjero, so she says
‘fish and chips. A marriage is fish and chips. you need
each other to fill your bellies well. it is a partnership’
if i ask her about love, she shakes her head with vigour.
‘i’m not talking about love. love ruins things.
a marriage is not made of love. but partners.’
so for once i listen to her, and i take a good look.
i look at the partnership
between my aunt’s bruised
cheek and her husband’s knuckles.
i gaze at the partnership between
my father’s no’s and my mother’s yes’s
and how his ‘no’ always has the last word.
i look at the partnership between
my grandmother’s loose cannon mouth
and the holes it leaves in my grandfather’s heart.
and finally I have an answer for my mother.
I tell her ‘I grieve for all the
people who have been told that a person chewing
on what their soul has to offer rather than kissing it,
is what a marriage is.

By Salma Deera

Biography:

Salma Deera is a Kenyan born poet of Bavanese descent. She is based in London and is an English Literature graduate. Her first poetry collection, Letters from Medea, was published in October.

 

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