Poetry by Farah Lawal Harris

I’m Selfish

love me out of my selfishness.
i have been robbed of me more times
than i feel comfortable to speak of
so now i do my best to keep up
with my own well-being.
every decision i make has to pass the litmus test
of how it feels in my gut
and when i’m in an emotional rut,
i cut people off like hangnails,
never mind the details,
just don’t be surprised if you get the voicemail
every time you call me.

i have never met real royalty,
but still i try to treat myself like a queen,
follow the commands of my inner voice
and what makes me happy is the final choice.
i bow to myself in mirrors
and smile so brightly that now my eyes are clearer,
feed myself only the best
and even sacrifice other people’s desire for my company
for quiet moments of rest.

but i know i am selfish
(or self-absorbed to say the least)
so i ask you to love me in a way that will transform me,
show me that i can share,
prove to me that it’s OK to give again,
that if i get hurt again,
i can heal again;
breathe your love into me
until i have enough breath to speak my needs
instead of shutting down;
enough courage to stop what i’m doing
to help others who are down.
love me enough to release the tension in my shoulders and back
that made a home in my body as a shield for what i lack;
fill me, reveal me,
change me for the better
so that one day,
i can love you
in the same unselfish way.

7 responses

  1. real…. authentic… you are what you say you respect, I can read it in your writing!

    February 11, 2009 at 2:58 am

  2. The candor and the wit and the no-holds-barred tone endear this poem to me. And the line “i cut people off like hangnails” — now that’s a keeper. I’ll remember you for it. 😉

    February 11, 2009 at 4:44 pm

  3. Vey few persons write honestly like this.

    February 11, 2009 at 6:30 pm

  4. ebbtide

    what beautiful longing – wonderfully real

    February 12, 2009 at 4:51 pm

  5. Just came from my site where I found your comment waiting for me. It felt like getting a special letter, thanks. But, then I come here and find this, it’s wonderful, Farah, and underlines all of the reasons I keep coming back here. I especially appreciate and love these lines:

    love me enough to release the tension in my shoulders and back
    that made a home in my body as a shield for what i lack;

    You just keep doing what you do,


    February 12, 2009 at 5:32 pm

  6. Thank you all for your kind words.

    February 14, 2009 at 5:26 pm

  7. C.adence

    beautifully genuine and human

    February 16, 2009 at 8:20 pm

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