Poetry by Farah Lawal Harris

Posts tagged “shoes

Just As You Left It


your shoes are just as you left them:
asymmetrical,
grass caught in creases of the soles,
laces untied,
scent of foot sweat–
subtle, not overpowering;
appearance neat.

inanimate objects imitate life
between these walls,

for my heart is just as you left it:
asymmetrical,
with one chamber heavier than the others;
unspoken words caught in creases of my soul,
future plans untied,
scent of body sweat caught in my bed–
subtle, not overpowering;
appearance neat.

intimate objects imitate love
between these walls.


Little Girl, Big Shoes


little-girl-big-shoes

i feel like a fake adult,
like how i did when i was a little girl
and put on daddy’s shoes and flopped around
trying to fill them,
but grateful that i was too small
to make them fit.
now i’m tired of this,
ungrateful for being so tight with my youth
that people think we’re best friends who refuse
to separate.
i am the siamese twin
whose head is split between two entities
and now i have to choose surgery to free my energy
from being drained between home and me.

i love my family
but still have so much farther to go
before i fully know me,
outside of the identity
i created with them.
who will i be without
the ones who care to listen
to the boring details of my day
or who can look in my tear-filled eyes
and assure me that it’ll be okay
and have me actually believe them?
who will i be outside of my environment,
my comfortable element,
my indigenous habitat where i roam kind of free?
i’m scared i’ll become extinct
or act like an unknown species,
a mix of good family values and broken pieces
of the world i tried to put together on my own
but clumsily slipped out of my hands.

maybe my hands aren’t strong enough
to carry the weight that has been on my shoulders
and in my heart
but unless i start testing how much i can hold,
i will never really know.


Throw Shoes


i wish i was brave enough to throw shoes
and yell out the truth.
i am a quiet soldier,
one who wears a uniforms with ribbons of
unknown significance.
one who marches and stomps loudly
only when among comrades
but when in enemy territory, holds back,
fearing that people might get mad and attack.
i have guns that i don’t know how to use,
and am still too scared to throw shoes,
bullets i am scared to load
and fingers that are too shaky to pull triggers.
i get smaller as fear gets bigger.
i shrink and my mind deadens
and my heart slows and the next thing you know,
i am not even a fighter at all,
would be exaggerating to even call myself
a soldier.


Barefoot


there’s something freeing about admitting
that what you’re doing
isn’t working–
even if there’s no solution in sight
and it feels uncomfortable like
your shoes are too tight,
like this environment is too narrow
for your dreams,
which like toenails,
can grow too long with neglect.
i object to being constricted by these shoes,
by these rules that dictate what i can’t and should do.
maybe i’ll start breaking them and then i’d be free–
only then could i untie
these laces that hold me.
i’ll walk around with bare feet
and ignore the rules of society
cuz my soul and heart have been ripped apart
with callouses and corns
from trying to squeeze myself
into maintaining the norm.
to hell with these shoes–
the right is on my left foot
and the left one is on my right.
to hell with this boring, mediocre life
that really doesn’t fit me.
i don’t want to resist me:
the actress who prefers to be on stage
than in a cubicle during the day,
the poet who has learned to write her pain away,
the woman who is declaring that today,
it’s time to stop delaying her plans
and allow her feet to be
as naked as her hands.