October night, 1904

    Little black baby in a bundle of straw
    sitting on the ground by the porch.
    Crying all night till the sun gon’ rise,
    whimper and a holler till the cows come home,
    sitting in the straw pile all alone.

    Creaking of the porch swing don’ woke him up
    and the tip toe of small leather shoes.
    Running to the woods and gasping for air,
    fleeing to the dark pine patch so cold,
    kneeling in the dark, in the forest over there.

    Groaning and cussing to the echoing house
    in the shadow of the moonlight pale,
    peering all around with that iron in his eyes,
    shining real soft in their tired brown stare.

    Little black baby in the arms of a man
    reaching for his grisly gray cheek.
    With a kiss on the head of a youngin’ so small,
    wrapped in momma’s quilt,
    put an end to it all.


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