A Langston Hughes Poem

You know the one – it starts “Hold fast to dreams…”

It’s terrible, what we do. We have these dreams, and we let them fall to the wayside as life gets in the way. It doesn’t matter what we really want, because the culmination of our dreams feels so far away that pursuing them just seems pointless – or, at the least, like something that we can just get around to eventually. …Oh, I’m sorry. I shouldn’t say “we,” I should just speak for myself. This is what happens to my dreams.

Dreams are like that cup of coffee you accidentally left on top of the car before driving on the highway. You’re going to have to get another cup, because you’re never getting that one back.

Outside my window, a tree full of green leaves stands out against brick buildings and a uniformly gray sky. I want to be walking the peaceful streets of Cork, back when I was 21 and newly heartbroken and still having an amazing time in Ireland, the one place I had always wanted to go. What would happen if I picked up and moved to Ireland? I mean, aside from having no job and no money and ending up living in a field with a whole lot of sheep – what would my life be if I made that decision? Sometimes I wonder if there could be some way, of which I know nothing, that would make it possible. And as lonely and pained as I would be to once again be somewhere I have no friends or family, I bet I would do it. Ireland calls to me, but I don’t know if I’ll ever get back.

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One thought on “A Langston Hughes Poem

  1. My favorite Langston Hughes poem is Mother to Son. The minute I first read it, I thought of my son Kevin. This was before he died.

    Well, son, I’ll tell you:
    Life for me ain’t been no crystal stair.
    It’s had tacks in it,
    And splinters,
    And boards torn up,
    And places with no carpet on the floor—
    Bare.
    But all the time
    I’se been a-climbin’ on,
    And reachin’ landin’s,
    And turnin’ corners,
    And sometimes goin’ in the dark
    Where there ain’t been no light.
    So, boy, don’t you turn back.
    Don’t you set down on the steps.
    ‘Cause you finds it’s kinder hard.
    Don’t you fall now—
    For I’se still goin’, honey,
    I’se still climbin’,
    And life for me ain’t been no crystal stair

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