Posted by: W. E. Poplaski | February 22, 2009

POEM OF THE DAY: Black Baby

by Anita Scott Coleman (1890 – 1960).

 

Black Baby (1929)

 

The baby I hold in my arms is a black baby.

Today I set him in the sun and

Sunbeams danced on his head.

 

The baby I hold in my arms is a black baby.

I toil, and I cannot always cuddle him.                                                 5

I place him on the ground at my feet.

He presses the warm earth with his hands,

He lifts the sand and laughs to see

It flow through his chubby fingers.

I watch to discern which are his hands,                                             10

Which is the sand. . . .

Lo . . . the rich loam is black like his hands.

 

The baby I hold in my arms is a black baby.

Today the coal-man brought me coal.

sixteen dollars a ton is the price I pay for coal.–                              15

Costly fuel . . . though they say:

– If it is buried deep enough and lies hidden long enough

‘Twill be no longer coal but diamonds. . . .

My black baby looks at me.

His eyes are like coals,                                                                             20

They shine like diamonds.

 

Notes:

http://www.blackpast.org/?q=aaw/coleman-anita-scott-1890-1960

http://www.questia.com/PM.qst?a=o&d=28002749

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