It’s not that I
don’t want you.
Almighty Forbid.
May that not be taken for prayer.
It’s just that
I don’t want you
right just now.
If I were having
guests over for lunch,
would I tell them to come
at 10am?
They’d eat their fingers
while I chopped onions.
I want there to be
stories ready
for when you arrive.
Of how we went and got new
tongues in Damascus,
a rich world of words
that would be part of your inheritance,
Before we wrap and bundle you,
I want reams of my written to coddle you.
It’s not that I’m selfish,
but selfless.
I want there to be more of me
to give to you.
It’s not that I
don’t want you.
I even have a name
for you.
“One who guides”
But not right now.

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I am a writer and photographer (look up my work on based in Johannesburg, South Africa. I have an MA in Creative Writing from the university currently known as Rhodes. My writing accolades include winning the 2014 Writivism Short Story Prize and the 2020 Ingrid Jonker Poetry Prize for my debut collection, Zikr.

20 thoughts on “blood-relief”

  1. Thought provoking. BUt I wonder, are we ever ready? I had my first son when I was 18. There’s five of them now. I’m not bitter. But there are days when I am overwhelmed. I have many regrets. But never, ever, would I regret those trusting faces.

  2. I agree on the fact that we need to give ourselves time to be ready; because it can be overwhelming for it to happen when you’re still trying to settle into a new life.

    But, what we think of as “ready”, and the reality of what “ready” actually is – may be different.

    Only Allah knows when we truly are ready – and when He wants to give us this blessing, He does.

    Contraception only gives us the illusion of control. Many people can attest to the fact that there’s no such thing as being 100% ‘safe’.

    Psychologically, we need to feel like we have some sort of control – and i don’t think there’s anything wrong with that. It’s human nature, isn’t it?

    But the bigger thing to remember is that in reality, we are not in control. Only Allah is. And He knows when you’ll be ready.

    May your journey through life prepare you for the great blessing that awaits, insha-Allah.

  3. … grow as husband and wife before you grow together as parents …
    explore your dreams and his, and when the time is right for you both, the time will be right for your babies.

  4. That was so beautiful to read, so peaceful. I felt so moved by this post and Im so very far from being in the same situation.

    When they do come you will give everything you have and love every moment of it. I wish you happiness, good timing and wonderful children who become what you dream for them

  5. Such beautiful words Saaleha. When you put it that way, you dont sound selfish.

    Yet I think I’m being selfish about the same issue.

    It all lies in your taqdeer.

  6. I believe that you’re a beeter human being to others when you are allowed to take care of yourself first. You take your time, and you’ll be better mom for it.

  7. I suppose it is something that will change your life forever. A part of me would love to right now, but the other part is not so sure I am ready just yet for someone to be totally dependant on me.

  8. I fully agree, the reason why I dont want to have my second one and I personally believe (and I’ve seem many cases) where mother become bitter. I’m sure you’ve noticed it too, not many people can sacrifice and not hold it against the world.

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