A Bronzeville Mother Loiters In Mississippi. Meanwhile, A Mississippi Mother Burns Bacon
From the first it had been like a
Ballad. It had the beat inevitable. It had the blood.
A wildness cut up, and tied in little bunches,
Like the four-line stanzas of the ballads she had never quite... more »
A Penitent Considers Another Coming Of Mary
If Mary came would Mary
Forgive, as Mothers may,
And sad and second Saviour
Furnish us today?... more »
A Song In The Front Yard
I’ve stayed in the front yard all my life.
I want a peek at the back
Where it’s rough and untended and hungry weed grows.
A girl gets sick of a rose.... more »
A Sunset Of The City
Already I am no longer looked at with lechery or love.
My daughters and sons have put me away with marbles and dolls,
Are gone from the house.
My husband and lovers are pleasant or somewhat polite... more »
Boy Breaking Glass
To Marc Crawford
from whom the commission
Whose broken window is a cry of art
(success, that winks aware... more »
Garbageman: The Man With The Orderly Mind
What do you think of us in fuzzy endeavor, you whose directions are
sterling, whose lunge is straight?... more »
Jessie Mitchell’s Mother
Into her mother’s bedroom to wash the ballooning body.
“My mother is jelly-hearted and she has a brain of jelly:
Sweet, quiver-soft, irrelevant. Not essential.
Only a habit would cry if she should die.... more »
We are things of dry hours and the involuntary plan,
Grayed in, and gray. "Dream" mate, a giddy sound, not strong
Like "rent", "feeding a wife", "satisfying a man".... more »
Mayor Harold Washington
Mayor. Worldman. Historyman.
Beyond steps that occur and close,
your steps are echo-makers.... more »
My Dreams, My Works, Must Wait Till After Hell
I hold my honey and I store my bread
In little jars and cabinets of my will.
I label clearly, and each latch and lid
I bid, Be firm till I return from hell.... more »
Of De Witt Williams On His Way To Lincoln Cemetery
He was born in Alabama.
He was bred in Illinois.
He was nothing but a
Plain black boy.... more »
Of Robert Frost
There is a little lightning in his eyes.
Iron at the mouth.
His brows ride neither too far up nor down.
He is splendid. With a place to stand.... more »
One Wants A Teller In A Time Like This
One wants a teller in a time like this
One's not a man, one's not a woman grown
To bear enormous business all alone.
One cannot walk this winding street with pride... more »
Primer For Blacks
is a title,
is a preoccupation,
is a commitment Blacks... more »
John Cabot, out of Wilma, once a Wycliffe,
all whitebluerose below his golden hair,
wrapped richly in right linen and right wool,
almost forgot his Jaguar and Lake Bluff;... more »
Sadie And Maud
Maud went to college.
Sadie stayed home.
Sadie scraped life
With a fine toothed comb.... more »
Speech To The Young : Speech To The Progress-Toward
Say to them,
say to the down-keepers,
the self-soilers,... more »
The Ballad Of Rudolph Reed
Rudolph Reed was oaken.
His wife was oaken too.
And his two good girls and his good little man
Oakened as they grew.... more »
The Bean Eaters
They eat beans mostly, this old yellow pair.
Dinner is a casual affair.
Plain chipware on a plain and creaking wood,
Tin flatware.... more »
The Blackstone Rangers
There they are.
Thirty at the corner.
Black, raw, ready.
Sores in the city... more »
The Children Of The Poor
People who have no children can be hard:
Attain a mail of ice and insolence:
Need not pause in the fire, and in no sense
Hesitate in the hurricane to guard.... more »
The Crazy Woman
I shall not sing a May song.
A May song should be gay.
I'll wait until November
And sing a song of gray.... more »
The Good Man
The good man.
He is still enhancer, renouncer.
In the time of detachment,
in the time of the vivid heather and affectionate evil,... more »
The Independent Man
Now who could take you off to tiny life
In one room or in two rooms or in three
And cork you smartly, like the flask of wine
You are? Not any woman. Not a wife.... more »
The Life Of Lincoln West
Ugliest little boy
that everyone ever saw.
That is what everyone said.... more »