Poetry by Farah Lawal Harris

Posts tagged “expectations

Great Eggspectations


i’m a little confused–
wrapped up in two,
thinking it’s better than one.

i had a dozen eggs once,
but i dropped one in the street
and a car drove over it.
i gave another one away,
hoping it would be kept safe,
but when i returned,
it was scrambled, fried
and burned.
another one disappeared right in front of my face
as the culprit stole it from me with a smile on his face.

so now i have nine eggs to my name.
i’m afraid to put them all in one basket
because that basket might just be a bastard with a hole in the bottom
or turn out to be a deep fryer
or a bold-faced liar.
so i’m thinking i’ll divide my lot in three–
two for the basket of definite possibility,
one for the one that has proved to be flimsy
and six that i will hold close to me
and guard with dear life
just in case i lose all the rest;
make a cage for them right on the left side of my chest,
where they can stay warm and incubate
until the environment is finally the right place
to share
instead of giving them all away.

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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.


Humpty


maybe i’m pushing too hard–
past the limit where my feet
are barely keeping on the edge of the wall
and i’m about to fall like Humpty Dumpty.
but hopefully i won’t break into pieces, but regenerate
because it’s been a long time since i have felt anything.
even if circumstances end
with shrugged shoulders and shriveled expectations,
i’m happy that at least i have felt again,
strengthened my shell again,
without forgetting the beautiful soul within
and that my limbs have the ability
to push and even pull back
as hard and as soon
as i need.