The sheikh sits on the floor
Measuring my mother’s wedding gown
White and foreboding
Draping it in musk

The women undo my mother’s braids
In readiness for her departing
An angel had married my mother
She was quick to pay the dowry
He took her breath away
She melted in his arms
And slipped into silence
Her destined lover from heaven

The bridesmaids wash her body
They wore mourning miens
For the bride’s already got marriage blues
They hang garlands on her as
She lay unmoving, a shy bride

The tents are spread all over
Gumba cakes are full of icings
Who won’t celebrate a marriage
Arranged by God himself?

A section of the earth cave in
Chanting ‘here comes the bride

Mujahid Ameen Lilo, a Nigerian teen author, is a freshman at the department of English and Literature, Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria. His works have appeared in The Lagos Review, The Nigeria Review, Ebedi Review, Kalahari Review, Daily Trust, Blueprint, Praxis and others. He was Artist of the Month with Yasmin Elrufai Foundation, September 2019. He participated in the Wole Soyinka International Cultural Exchange Program and UI Poetry Masterclass 2019. Lilo won The Wole Soyinka Essay Competition. He is the 2nd place winner of The Nigeria Prize for Teen Authors 2020, the largest prize for teen authors in Nigeria. He also won the BUK Creative Writers’ Poetry Contest.
A recipient of the National HIASFEST Star Prize 2021 awarded to the most progressive teen author in Nigeria, Mujahid was a panelist at Lagos Book and Art Festival 2020 and guest at PIN 5th Anniversary and Hadiza Ibrahim Aliyu Schools Festival.

Featured image by Davide Ragusa, Unsplash

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