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

Countee Cullen, "Brown Boy to Brown Girl (Remembrance on a hill) (For Yolanda)" (1924)

Surely as I hold your in mine,
As surely as your crinkled hair belies
The enamoured sun pretending that he dies
While still he loiters in its glossy shine,
As surely as I break the slender line
That spider linked us with, in no least wise
Am I uncertain that these alien skies
Do not our whole life measure and confine.
No less, once in a land of scarlet suns
And brooding winds, before the hurricane
Bore down upon us, long before this pain,
We found a place where quiet water runs;
I held your hand this way upon a hill,
And felt my heart forebear, my pulse grow still."

Published in Opportunity, September 1924
Also published in Color, 1925

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