Poetry by Farah Lawal Harris

Posts tagged “marriage

Candy Store Love

my big sis who i admire
laughingly told me that she’s thankful
God married her off early
because truth be told,
if He didn’t, she would be
a hoe and a half.

then i laughingly, but honestly told her
that it’s better God didn’t marry me off early
because if He did, i would be
a headache and a half.
and not only that, but also
a cheater.
i’m halfway ashamed to admit that,
to confess that i still view life as a candy store
and every day my tastes change:

sometimes i want chocolate, lots of it….
smooth, rich and soft.
the kind so delicious
that i let it melt in my hands on purpose
so i can lick it off
my fingers then let it live on
my tongue
right before i lay down to sleep
so that when i wake up, i still taste the
flavor in the morning;
darkness so attractive and velvety and sweet
to the point that it kind of hurts my teeth
when i bite into it.
i sometimes want love so strong
that i get in fights with my dentist
because each time i visit,
i have more cavities and he keeps warning me
to slow down as to not rot my teeth
with the indulgence of one
who is just too much for me.

then other days,
i’m in the mood for bubble gum.
the kind that is yummy and fruity
when i first taste it,
but after it gets stale in a little while,
i can without reservation
just spit it out
and unwrap a new piece.
no commitment because each taste
is just a piece
of a sequence of satisfaction
ruled by the cravings of me.
i can hang on a little longer than necessary
if i want
or discard the love i have chewed up
while multitasking
and not even have to listen
when he is asking
why our love has dried up.

i want my love to be sweet and colorful,
sugary and tangy,
different with every taste.
so the idea of marriage at this time
sounds like kind of a waste.
i do not by any means
view this type of union
as absurd or senseless
for one day, i want to be a Mrs.
rather than an M-I-S-S
but as i grow to know me,
i see that less and less
do i want to be held down
by having the same dessert daily.
i want love to entertain me
like a court jester where i am the queen
who can yell “Off with his head!”
whenever the excitement is dead.

i am selfish and a little gluttonous,
kind of greedy
and hate the monotonous
but slowly, i am maturing,
hoping that i will surpass the days
when i am a little girl
with eyes bigger than her stomach
and care about my diet–
cut out the unnecessary sugar
and focus on nutrients,
feed myself on what is good for me
and only have time for what nourishes me
and treat those i encounter
as humans
rather than distractions on a counter
of a life that i have not even begun to live yet
and still have a little room
for chocolate.


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!

A Prayer For The Stranger Who is My Husband

God, i pray for my husband–
that he will be logical
and strong enough
to handle
sometimes i operate so emotionally
that i treat my heart with irresponsibility,
not only wearing it on my sleeve
but throwing it at the back of a man’s head
in moments of distress,
hoping that once it bounces off
and leaves a knot,
i will feel at rest.
i will need a husband
whose skull will be hard enough
to counter mine,
who will pick up my heart after it’s been thrown,
brush the dust off with gentle hands
and place it back in my chest
to beat calmly again;
one who possesses
a gentle enough face
for me to feel a twinge of guilt
for wanting to make him pay
unjustly for my
distorted perceptions of the truth;
a husband who
will love me out of the habit
of abusing the most crucial organ in my body
and give a long enough embrace
to keep my restored heart
in its proper place,
and pull me out of the way
of thinking that tells me
that violence is a way to be heard,
show me the true meaning of love
that in today’s society seems absurd.
i pray that he is a teacher,
a fighter,
a healer,
a lover,
a meditator,
a mediator,
a thinker
and a son
who like a piece of clay,
You have molded and shaped
into a pot
that even in my emotional states,
i am unable
to break.

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
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,
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
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.