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

Ottie Graham (Ottie Beatrice Graham), "Futility" (1924)


If I were a doe in a forest deep,
I could lift my soft brown eyes to weep,
Weep silent, crystal tears.
At a still, cool pool 'neath some woodbird's nest,
I could pause and drink and bathe and rest,
Rest in a sad, sweet peace.
But I'm not a doe in a forest deep;
Here soft brown eyes must smile, not weep,
And the pool is far away.

Published in The Messenger, May 1924

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