Poetry by Farah Lawal Harris

Ambulatory Announcement


one day i’m gonna walk away from it all.
leave squeaky chair spinning in cubicle
and pictures on the wall
and expectations of success
and bill collector calls
and dreams that are too far to reach
and grab them as if all
that mattered
was honoring me.

i’m gonna walk away,
maybe even run,
not caring if i break the heels on my black leather pumps
or get runs in itchy stockings that were never met to fit me.
i won’t answer phones politely,
won’t smile without meaning,
will cry when i feel like it
and speak the truth as if
life still depended on it.

i’m not happy.

i feel like walking,
jogging, or maybe even driving
til i run out of gas
and can no longer recognize the surroundings
outside of the glass
that separates me from reality.
one day i’m gonna walk instead of sit,
act instead of talk,
speak instead of staying quiet,
scream instead of staying silent,
stop living so publicly and
respect myself enough to be private.

tiptoes are all they see now
but in my soul
i am walking,
even climbing,
drowning but surviving,
heart faint but still thriving
and growing despite being
the uprooted plant that i am.

i don’t want to wait for “one day”
so maybe i’ll just
put one foot in front of the other today
and see what happens.
movement is innate
and i’m spiraling back to my own nature
and the essence of my humanity
beyond infancy,
crawling, crying, standing,
losing balance and falling
but taking that final leap
and walking.

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5 responses

  1. Thank you. I can’t find words, but I needed that. Thank you.

    January 21, 2009 at 9:33 pm

  2. yes! Thank you, Farah. Just one step in front of the other…

    January 22, 2009 at 10:52 am

  3. excuse my language but… holy shit! this is great. and it is uncanny how much i can relate to this and the poem before, pyrophobiac. crazy. i’m glad i found your blog.

    January 24, 2009 at 12:57 am

  4. Thank you all!

    January 24, 2009 at 1:30 am

  5. 🙂

    January 28, 2009 at 2:28 pm

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