African American Poetry (1870-1928): A Digital Anthology

Arna Bontemps, "Close Your Eyes!" (1927)


GO THROUGH the gates with closed eyes.
Stand erect and let your black face front the west.
Drop the axe and leave the timber where it lies;
A woodman on the hill must have his rest.
Go where leaves are lying brown and wet.
Forget her warm arms and her breast who mothered you,
And every face you ever loved forget.
Close your eyes; walk bravely through.

Published in Caroling Dusk1927
Also published in Carolina Magazine, May 1927

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