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

E. Lucien Waithe, "To a Brown Child" (1925)

Little brown feet that toss in air,
   Double rosebuds on a stem,
Hard and scorching is the way
   Like the road from Bethlehem
Leading to the requiem.

Little brown eyes so innocent,
   Shining with a starry light,
Must life's lurid, hateful glare
   Hurt them, dim their cheerful sight,
Take the day and give them night!

Little white soul within the brown
   Fleshy case of innocence,
Must you warp and suffer long
   Just for one small consequence,
All the work of Providence!

Published in The Crisis, October 1925

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