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

Carrie Williams Clifford, "Ideals" (1920)

"WHEN I'm a man, I want to be
The ruler of the world," said John,
"Like Woodrow Wilson or Wilhelm,
Or Emperor Napoleon."
"When I'm a man, I want to own
The mines of diamonds and of gold,
Like Rockefeller owns the oil
All Mother Earth can ever hold!"
"When I'm a man, I want to fly
To that old backward planet, Mars,
And colonize for U. S. A.
And then—I'll annex all the stars!"
"When I'm a man," said dark-faced Paul,
"I want to help mankind to grow,
Like Luther Burbank helps the plants
And flowers and things like that, you know."
"He gives to plants the needful things
To bring them to perfection rare;
Like soil and sunshine, warmth and rain,
And oh, such lots and lots of care!"
"To men I'll give such happy homes!
With children for their treasure-trove,
And work and food and fun enough
And oh, such lots and lots of love!"

Published in The Brownies' Book, August 1920

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