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
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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