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

Claude McKay, "A Capitalist at Dinner" (1919)

An ugly figure, heavy, overfed,
Settles uneasily into a chair;
Nervously he mops his pink bald head,
Frowns at the fawning waiter standing near.
The entire service tries its best to please 
This overpampered piece of broken-health,
Who sits there thoughtless, querulous, obese,
Wrapped in his sordid visions of vast wealth.
Great God! if creatures like this money-fool,
Who hold the service of mankind so cheap,
Over the people must forever rule,
Driving them at their will like helpless sheep—
Then let proud mothers cease from giving birth;
Let human beings perish from the earth.

Published in The Liberator, July 1919

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