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

Nellie R. Bright (Nellie Rathbone Bright), "Query" (1927)

Great wonder that my blood spurts ruby read
And not a green and slimy stream instead--
That all my tears are salt, not bigger gall,
That I sill live, and love and laught at all!
And that my teeth are lustrous, pearly white,
Instead of blue cold blades that clash at night.
Why do you stand aloof and bid me pray,
You who sow strife and pain upon my way?
How does my soul live on mauled by hate's rod?
You cannot know 'twas made by One called God.

Published in Black Opals, Christmas 1927
Also published in Carolina Magazine, May1928

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