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

Effie Lee Newsome, "Mattinata" (1927)


By Effie Lee Newsome

When I think of the hosts of little ones
Who wake to a birdless dawn,
Who know of no meadow that waits for them,
No pool with its dragon flies
All bathed with the silver of morning light
Like the lights that flash on the pool,
When I think of that trystless waking today—
So far as to meadows and meads,
So far as to tossing billows of wheat,
So far as to millet tides,
So far as to orchards and woods to seek
To swing from the kind sweet trees—
I fear that the dawn’s too rich for my share.
I fear I have robbed some child
Of the fragrance of dew,
Of the birds’ first notes,
Of the warm kind light from God—
All sent in tints of nasturtium blooms—
For the little red hearts of childhood.

Published in The Crisis, July 1927

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