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

James Edward McCall (J.E. McCall), "The Conjure Man" (1928)

An old brown man with snaky eyes
That scintillate and hypnotize--
Serpent-charmer of his race,
With thick red lips, shiny face,
Frayed frock-coat, stove-pipe hat,
Green spectacles, red cravat,
Old umbrella, rusty grip
Filled with roots and herbs to sip--
He can cast an evil spell,
Make you sick or make you well;
He can make a hoodoo charm
To bring good luck and shield you from harm;
Can bring you lover back again,
And make your rival writhe in pain--
He's a master of black art,
And can poison to the heart,
Like a cat on stealthy feet,
He comes gliding down the street;
People call him, "Doctor Dan"--
He's the snake-eyed conjure man. 

Published in Opportunity, August, 1928

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