Poetry by Farah Lawal Harris

Posts tagged “homelessness

What Went Wrong?


*Written June 18, 2008*

a crazy black man
in the midst of mumbling madness
and missing teeth
called me a BITCH!
i paused
cuz at that moment time stopped
my heart dropped
my jaw popped back
about to reply…
but i shut it
chuckling at what the man uttered
not in a private disagreement
or altercation
but directly to a stranger
entering the train station

i could have
let out a cry
i could have in the spirit of U.N.I.T.Y. replied
“WHO YOU CALLIN A…”
but instead i’m sitting here questioning why…
what went wrong
in between this man’s departure from his mother’s hips
to this rainy evening in tattered clothes and dirty lips,
nonsensical phrases, broken dreams,
daymares and lack of sleep,
no pillow to rest on, just a trash heap,
to the point where death is a fantasy
and life is a disease?
what went wrong
that a black man the age of my father
tries to break down a girl the age of his daughter
and commit generational slaughter?

but little did he know
that a wise woman taught her
to redefine what once brought her
to anger.
now that i look back,
i wish i could have
thanked him,
expressed gratitude for his expression
for in his effort to insult, he reminded me that
B-I-T-C-H is no longer my oppression
cuz this blossoming black beauty
throughly treasures
Being
In
Total
Control of
Herself.