Poetry by Farah Lawal Harris

Contingency


i find myself not living
in the now
but the “when. “
the “When A happens then B
and I will be happy.”

so instead of looking next to me,
my eyes turn glassy
as i envision the moment when
certain events will happen
that my contentment is
contingent upon:

“When I move to a better place,”
“When I get a better job,”
“When I have more money,”
“When I get that ring,”
“When I get married,”
“When I get free”
and other hypothetical statements
fill my mouth while
my future overflows with intangible dreams.

maybe when i hold them in my hands
they’ll feel real.
or maybe when
i stop living in when,
i can live in now
and appreciate what i have
now.
even if
“when”
never shows up
or decides to be tardy
(as it often tends to be).

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5 responses

  1. I remember youth well, One thing is certain all is possible with youth. There are two things which must be implemented to obtain success, even when struggle and uncertainty persist, that is discipline and consistency. Hold onto you and believe in yourself, never letting anyone diminish your ambition and maintain a pace without stopping, this is the story of success.
    I can appreciate your thoughts which are real and natural and well placed. Please accept this invitation to check out 1markt’s blog@wordpress.com. and please tell me what you think

    February 23, 2010 at 5:30 pm

  2. I cannot recall where it is from…I suspect Zen, but I’m not for sure..the line that goes “Men spend so much time trying to define life, that they don’t have time to live.” Your poem reminded me of that saying…enjoyed your poem.

    February 23, 2010 at 6:02 pm

  3. great hope

    February 23, 2010 at 6:05 pm

  4. malcolmjames

    I so want to be with you when you find the “now.” What a well-written exposé of the failings of expectations. Let’s let go of expectations and embrace hope.

    March 4, 2010 at 10:03 pm

  5. Thank you all for your thoughtful comments!

    March 5, 2010 at 10:46 am

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