Poetry by Farah Lawal Harris

Posts tagged “jealousy

Why Cry?


when i
consider the amount of potential
that lives in my insides
and then wake up and see
what is really outside,
tears well up in my eyes
and i cry.

when i
think about all of the uncured disease
and all the money that’s made in pharmacies
and the people who live off of painkillers
instead of cures,
tears well up in my eyes
and i cry.

when i
think about how the boys in blue
are supposed to protect me and you
but when i needed them,
they treated me like i was the criminal
and my assailant walks the streets
and breathes the same air as me,
tears well up in my eyes
and i cry.

there is so much to cry about
and some days,
i have to search for laughter.
i have to remind myself
of other chapters in my life,
the dog-eared pages of past stages
when life was sweet
and love was constant
and happiness was not a long-lost friend
but something that lived in my pocket
that has now slipped away as easily as lint
in a pair of pants
that are too tight for me now.

some days i can’t even cry
like i have some strange infirmity
from all the fucked up things i have seen,
like my eyes no longer produce tears
so when fear mounts, i shout instead
with a poetic voice loud enough to wake the dead.
the dead live in my head.
their corpses rot in their tiny grave plots
and their headstones read:
INSECURITY,
JEALOUSY,
HEARTBREAK,
DATE RAPE,
MISTAKES,
and FEAR.
the soil is soft and pretty flowers live here
and sometimes their scents break through with pollen
that causes tears
and i cry
and cry.
and cry
until there is no more inside
and until i feel alive
and the frustration subsides
and then i can finally breathe
and finally see
that crying was a necessity
to move past all that is upsetting me
and live on.

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Video of Me Performing “My Wedding Day”


Hi everyone!  Here is a video of me performing my poem, “My Wedding Day” (click here to read the poem) at an event in Washington, D.C. I did last week called “Women, Words, and Power!” (done in association with The Essential Theatre).  I was one of nine female spoken word artists who performed.

I’ll warn you that the video quality isn’t great, but hey… 🙂 Enjoy!


My Wedding Day


up until recently, thoughts of marriage
consumed me.
in my head i would plan my wedding while
the face of the groom would always be
blank
but my emotions would be so full…
longing, wanting, obsessing over
the details:
what my dress would look like,
my hairstyle,
holding back tears,
daddy walking me down the aisle.
i wanted this day so bad
that i refused to let my mind rest
on fantasies for too long
even though i knew exactly what song
would play for my first dance
with my husband.
my wedding day
was a moment that privately talked to me
in my idle mind
and yelled at me
each and every time
i found out that a peer of mine
was leaving the single life behind.
water filled my eyes and envy washed over me
and what overruled happiness for my friends
was jealousy.

but something has changed–
that desire i had now seems childish.
don’t get me wrong–
of course i still want this
fantasy, for prince charming
to sweep me off my feet
and to have the most beautiful ceremony.
but now in my maturity,
i realize,
recognize,
readjust my eyes
to see far away.
in my naivete, i equated marriage to just
my wedding day.
how easily i can give up 24 hours,
the breath to say memorized vows,
countless cheek-aching smiles
for flashing lights
but the thought of giving up
my life
makes me want to walk–
correction: RUN
the other way.
i still have more to accomplish today
so my focus is on tomorrow,
not dreams of yesterday
that no longer serve me.

so now when bouquets get thrown my way,
i clasp my fingers tight
and when handsome gents feed me with compliments,
i grasp my heart right.
this might be selfish but this just might be
the only time in my life i have
to focus on what
i
need.
lately i get choked up over goals,
dress for success instead of dates,
wish against love coming this way,
but if it happens, then hey…
maybe my girlhood wants will return
and maybe my heart will cool down
from the steam of getting burned
and maybe one day i will meet the man who will turn
my idea of marriage
into something truthful and new…
the joining of one
who used to be two.