Willy Lomanistan

Samina Hadi-Tabassum

In the living room

My uncles and father stand in a huddled mass

Shaking their heads in unison to mean yes

To the egregious tales told from home

Of corrupt prime ministers and bribery scandals


In the kitchen

My aunts and mother sit around the table

Warming the aluminum foil covered dishes

Hands cusped around cups of chai

Admiring the gold jewelry around their necks


We adolescent girls listen surreptitiously to their banter

Straddling the hallway between gendered spaces

Heads cringed to hear words of arranged marriages and horoscopes

Of young men finishing medical school and engineering degrees

The cost of dowries, banquet halls, and the groom’s horse

Of tents, lights and plane tickets back home


With worried looks and fearful faces

Talk turns to artificial jewelry, plastic garlands and less embroidery

To no-good relatives who should never be invited

And politicians causing inflation

Of middle class boys with their own shops and stores

Who would pay anything for an American bride


Samina Hadi-Tabassum is a professor at Dominican University outside of Chicago. She teaches courses in language development and linguistics.
She has published poetry in the Journal of Postcolonial Writing, Eastlit, Soul Lit, and Indus Streams.

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One response to “Willy Lomanistan

  1. Pingback: Issue 3 Spring/Summer 2015 | The Waggle Magazine

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