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The Ballad of Cathay Williams William Cathay

A white man wouldn't less

He stripped me naked was

Whipping me know

I was a woman got

A name just turn

It inside out

And I'm a man

How else I'm gonna know myself

When I am called


A white man wouldn't twice I had

Smallpox twice after I enlisted

twice and had / To be

hospitalized both times

Ain't never once

no doctor nor no nurse

Discovered me

No for no white woman

I wouldn't have

nothing for her to see

She would want me to know she seen

And I was watching close

How else I'm gone to know myself

When I am called



And what she see is anyway

how is she gonna know for sure

Black man ain't got

a hole down there

How is she know he ain't

A white man born wrong inside out

and twice as big and mean

And got a hole go twice as deep to hell

How is that woman sure

of anything at all

How else I'm etc

by Shane McCrae

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