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

Georgia Douglas Johnson, "Motherhood" (1922)

Don't knock on my door, little child,
I cannot let you in;
You know not what a world this is
Of cruelty and sin.
Wait in the still eternity
Until I come to you.
The world is cruel, cruel, child,
I cannot let you through.

Don't knock at my heart, little one,
I cannot bear the pain
Of turning deaf ears to your call,
Time and time again.
You do not know the monster men
Inhabiting the earth,
Be still, be still, my precious child,
I cannot give you birth.

Published in The Crisis, October 1922

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