African American Poetry (1870-1927): A Digital Anthology

Gwendolyn B. Bennett, "To a Dark Girl" (1927)

TO A DARK GIRL

I LOVE you for your brownness
And the rounded darkness of your breast.
I love you for the breaking sadness in your voice
And shadows where your wayward eye-lids rest.
Something of old forgotten queens
Lurks in the lithe abandon of your walk
And something of the shackled slave
Sobs in the rhythm of your talk.
Oh, little brown girl, born for sorrow's mate,
Keep all you have of queenliness,
Forgetting that you once were slave,
And let your full lips laugh at Fate!

Published in Caroling Dusk1927