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

Mae V. Cowdery (Mae Cowdery), "Longings" (1927)

Editor's Note: This poem won first prize in The Crisis' 1927 poetry competition (December 1927)


To dance—
In the light of moon,
A platinum moon
Poised like a slender dagger
On the velvet darkness of night.

To dream—
’Neath the bamboo trees
On the sable breast
Of earth—
And listen to the wind.

To croon—
Weird sweet melodies
Round the cabin door
With banjos clinking softly—
And from out the shadow
Hear the beat of tom-toms
Resonant through the years.

To plunge—
My brown body
In a golden pool,
And lazily float on the swell
Watching the rising sun.

To stand—
On a purple mountain
Hidden from earth
By mists of dreams
And tears—

To talk—
With God.

Published in The Crisis, December 1927

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