The Ripe Time For Pity Parties It is wedding season.

It is wedding season
The ripe time for pity parties.
The wedding planners mount the LED lights
The bride gets her makeup done
The elders ululate
Sokhole, Sokhole.

Isn’t culture fine-looking?
Someone should propose today.

It is during weddings that elders are most attentive
Pinpointing their sons’ potentials
The girl with the red hijab
That one has pimples
The girl with the braces
She has been on her phone for too long
She is probably one of those haramis
The girl with the nose piercing
She is already a red-flag
The one wearing a flowery dress
She has been quiet and she seems shy
Perfect fit
What is her family name?
How is her hair texture?
Can she cook?

It is wedding season
The ripe time for pity parties.
The elders ask
What have you been up to
But they are not interested in you’re up to
They want to know
Married or not
Potential or not
Long hair or short hair
Good clan or bad clan
Kitchen-material or takeout-material

It is wedding season
The ripe time for the wedding register
Checklist done
Waiyoyo, Waiyoye.

Salma Abdulatif is an award-winning civic leader and poet from Kenya. Passionate about her Swahili and Hadhrami roots, her work explores the connection between the sea and migration, the majesty of storytelling, identity, and the reclamation of souls. She won the East African Writing Contest and the Coast Essay Contest. Her work has appeared in Coast Women Magazine. Salma has participated in literary initiatives such as Honey Badgers, Bookmart, the Hekaya Arts Initiative, Creative Writers League, and the Heroe Book Fair. She also participated in a poetry workshop at the University of Nebraska facilitated by Kwame Dawes. Her first poetry collection, Dried Rose Petals and Lavender Buds, dismantles, disengages and disowns myths, misconceptions, and misogyny.

Cover Image: Parastoo Maleki on Unsplash.