As I Grew Older

It was a long time ago.
I have almost forgotten my dream.
But it was there then,
In front of me,
Bright like a sun—
My dream.
And then the wall rose,
Rose slowly,
Slowly,
Between me and my dream.
Rose until it touched the sky—
The wall.
Shadow.
I am black.
I lie down in the shadow.
No longer the light of my dream before me,
Above me.
Only the thick wall.
Only the shadow.
My hands!
My dark hands!
Break through the wall!
Find my dream!
Help me to shatter this darkness,
To smash this night,
To break this shadow
Into a thousand lights of sun,
Into a thousand whirling dreams
Of sun!

by Langston Hughes

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Comments (1)

Brilliant writing. Many a gem. However, I could not follow all the threads because overall there was a pessimism, and if my mind is the one descending from the family problems to the fish for sale I feel tricked. But it is also hard to trust a poem in which the characters, such as the families and the fish and the mollies with flintlocks seem sincere and unselfconscious and trust the world but the poet doesn't and her mood is ironical and cynical.