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

Jessie Fauset, "Touche" (1927)


DEAR, when we sit in that high, placid room,
"Loving” and “doving” as all lovers do,
Laughing and leaning so close in the gloom,--

What is the change that creeps sharp over you?
Just as you raise your fine hand to my hair,
Bringing that glance of mixed wonder and rue?

“Black hair,” you murmur, “so lustrous and rare,
Beautiful too, like a raven's smooth wing;
Surely no gold locks were ever more fair."

Why do you say every night that same thing?
Turning your mind to some old constant theme,
Half meditating and half murmuring?

Tell me, that girl of your young manhood's dream,
Her you loved first in that dim long ago
Had she blue eyes? Did her hair goldly gleam?

Does she come back to you softly and slow,
Stepping wraith-wise from the depths of the past?
Quickened and fired by the warmth of our glow?

There I've divined it! My wit holds you fast.
Nay, no excuses ; 'tis little I care.
I knew a lad in my own girlhood's past,--
Blue eyes he had and such waving gold hair!

Published in Caroling Dusk1927

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