Poetry by Farah Lawal Harris

Stuck in Translation

i don’t want to try to understand you.
your life may have been filled with just as much
and maybe even more pain than mine
but your past pain is no excuse
for the present pain i feel
just because of you.
hurt people hurt people
and i shake to imagine the hurt
in the person who hurt you.
i wish i had something more positive to relay to you,
but the truth is,
i don’t even know what to say to you.
words escape me and so does sympathy.
i lack the compassion to sit down and try to figure you out,
i lack the discipline to control the words that come out of my mouth
when i think of what you have put me through.
i lack the capacity to comprehend the fragile being that is you,
partially praying that you will be broken again
just to see how it feels,
to realize that you are glass when you thought you were steel,
so you could truly know that your actions were real,
not just imagined, not just misunderstanding.
take a walk in my shoes one day
and see how each hour that passes for me
is a victory,
every smile is a triumph
and every simple touch brings me back to life.
you left me dead,
frozen, lacking spark and luster
so it seems foolish of me to muster
the strength to see you how i did at the beginning,
the time when i studied you and saw potential,
saw beauty past the eye,
saw the possibility of you bettering my life,
not knowing that you would be the knife
that stabbed my heart and tore my world apart.
i realize that you are not just a victimizer, but a victim too,
but still nothing in me wishes you well,
all of me wishes you would go to hell,
part of me doesn’t consider you a real man
and all of my heart, mind, and soul has no desire
to understand.


4 responses

  1. There’s something in your poem that is endlessly compelling. I think it’s the fact that in all of the negativity the person seems to have caused, the narrator remains completely calm. If this is a poem from the heart about real events, it’s an impressive feat to be able to reflect like this, in a way that others can sympathize just through reading. Your lines:
    “each hour that passes for me
    is a victory,
    every smile is a triumph
    and every simple touch brings me back to life.”
    were especially powerful for me, because that is how I think sometimes. Thank you for sharing this poem.

    August 24, 2008 at 10:17 pm

  2. 1sojournal

    Today I published a blog titled The Unspeakable. Came here as a gift to myself for a job well done. Found myself suddenly with my toes sticking out over a dark bottomless abyss I created over ten years ago. Teetering, yet amazed at what your words say to and about my life and experience. The person you write about exists in that bottomless abyss. I no longer wish her deliberate ill, only that she live on the farthest side of the globe without any resources of communication with which to harm anyone. It has taken me ten long years to accomplish even that small step. Thank you, for your honesty and courage, once again.


    August 25, 2008 at 11:16 am

  3. Sorry, back again. Would like to know if I could copy and print this out so I would have an ‘in hand copy’ with your name on it of course. I don’t want to do anything but read it several times and hear in it, what I need to hear.


    August 25, 2008 at 12:41 pm

  4. Hey Elizabeth. You can print the poem as long as my name is on it and it is only for personal use. Thanks for asking 🙂 Also, I appreciate your faithfulness to my blog. You show me that I need to continue writing. Be blessed.

    August 25, 2008 at 12:55 pm

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