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

Helene Johnson, "A Southern Road" (1926)

A Southern Road
Yolk-colored tongue
Parched beneath a burning sky,
A lazy little tune
Hummed up the crest of some
Soft sloping hill.
One streaming line of beauty
Flowing by a forest
Pregnant with tears.
A hidden nest for beauty
Idly flung by God
In one lonely lingering hour
Before the Sabbath.
A blue- fruited black gum,
Like a tall predella,
Bears a dangling figure,
Sacrificial dower to the raff,
Swinging alone,
A solemn, tortured shadow in the air.

Published in Fire!!, November 1926 (full text here)

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