nadia abduljabbar

Rookie - 99 Points (25/5/1957 / Makkah)

Daughter In Law - Poem by nadia abduljabbar

I am trembling out of anxiety,
For in two or three weeks’ time,
I will be flying to
Eastern Region
To meet with a girl
Whom my son might
Take as a future wife.

Who said good people are
Always for good people,
And bad ones
For their equals.
Then where are
God’s Tests?
The verse in the Qur’an
Is Always Misinterpreted:
It tells about the ideal
Situation that we
Should work hard
To realize not
The ordinary one,
Otherwise there
would have been no
Divorces, nor courts
To solve problems
Between married couples.

Out of despair,
I told my son
To look for himself
For a wife,
Though such a thing
Is extremely difficult in Arabia,
For there is no co-education,
And men and women
Rarely mingle,
Or see each other,
Except by chance,
Or in very limited situations

Actually that was
My opinion from
The very beginning,
But he insisted
That my opinion
Makes all the difference
And the girl
Must be out of my choice.

What a responsibility! I, who
Had three hundred of proposals,
Six Engagements, two divorces
Is now Asked to
Choose a spouse;
I who failed to
Choose the right pal
For myself, is now supposed to find
A partner for my only son.

I essentially encouraged
Him to ask for a divorcee
With a child, I told
Him ‘let’s break the silly Tradition,
The young woman
Is worth a while,
I liked her pretty
Smile and her hazelnut
Eyes beside her
Witty comments,
I did not see the wicked
Heart inside, but my son did,
Yet did not tell me
About his view,
I went to restaurants
With them to give
Both the chance
To know each
Other better in such
A society that might harm
Her if they were alone.

And when he was not
Around, I took her with
The child as if I were her
Mother to have fun together,
But deep inside
Her she was preparing
To separate me from my
Only son as a result of her
Previous bad experience
And cheekiness,
For not every one
Harmed likes to hurt others.

Sitting on my lap, she once
Said: “ does a woman have
To take the man with his
Mother, sisters and family”,
I was shocked from the
Rudeness, but controlled
Myself giving her excuses,
Because she passed through,
A very difficult time,
I replied: “Baby, Darling,
You do not take a man
From the street, he must
Have a family and if you are
Good with them,
They will be
Good with you.

She replied,
“But in America”,
Interrupted I
“America has its own style and
Arabs have their own way
Of thinking and living
Beside that a Muslim
Woman must help her
Spouse to be good
With his parents and family
As a whole.” She swallowed
What I said unhappily.

Later things did not go well
Between them;
The engagement
Failed. I was so sad
But he was willing
To try again.

And I asked his
Aunt to help.
The new girl
Was so beautiful,
But is beauty –alone- enough,
She was not as educated
As the previous one;
No good Arabic,
No English,
And no Computer,
Even the Qur’an
She memorized,
She understood
Nothing of its meaning,
Nor philosophy;

It was very difficult
To find a topic to talk
With her about
Except Turkish drama.
I told my son:,
“ You cannot have all
In this life”, accept your
And he did,
But she began to apply
The Turkish drama
On herself and my son
Hence, the engagement
Could not go on.

Now I am perplexed between
My good wishes
For my son,
My desire
To be a grandmother
And my fear
From Todays’ young women.

Poet's Notes about The Poem


12 May 2013

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Poem Submitted: Sunday, May 12, 2013

Poem Edited: Friday, September 13, 2013

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