African American Poetry (1870-1926): A Digital Anthology

Esther Popel, "Kinship"

I have no quarrel with those who claim
There is no God; who idly boast
That man has come from things akin
To apes; who point with pride
And proof to family trees whereon
Sit chattering all their simian ancestry!

I need but lift mine eyes and see
The Night slide down in velvet blackness
O'er a sky that late was crimson dyed
With Sun's own life-blood! Or to hearken to
The young Day's whispered murmur as she stirs
And, in her naked glory rising up, wipes the stardust
From her drowsy eyes, the while her pearl-grey couch
Takes fire and melts before the glow of her new suitor's smile!

These be sufficient proofs for me to know
There is a God! And as for ancestry--
What ape could see the wonder of the Night 
As I have seen it? And what monkey-soul 
Could catch the murmur of a waking world 
And in it hear the voice of God proclaim 
His glories? 


Published in Opportunity, January 1925
 

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