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Poems
Mother's Anguish
(1965 / Abor, Volta Region, Ghana)

Mother's Anguish

my African child
he ain't got shoes except blues
works all day and hopes to play
like others in the sun
with a face that's tan but
at the end of the day, when work is done
he ain't got anything but blues

like a bird on a wire
like a lone soul in a midnight choir
making a living out of black-land dirt
on streets of Soweto down to Harlem
he has tried in ways to be free
like a bird out of a cage

like a fish on a hook
like a knight from an old fashioned book
like a baby stillborn
like a beast with his horns
no one reaches out for him

yet, like a beggar
leaning on a wooden crutch
like a soul hanging on a darkened door
he saved his pennies for your ribbons
and got your bills when you don't own his ills

this dark child,
ain't got anything to lose
when you watch him squirm
put him on a hook and you dropp him in a brook
everything's gonna turn out just right,
tomorrow you'll see him fry fish
with his eyes dancing with the stars
on the banks of Volta at Home

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