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

Sterling A. Brown (Sterling Brown), "Thoughts of Death" (1928)

THOUGHTS of death
Crowd over my happiness
Like dark clouds
Over the silver sickle of the moon.

Death comes to some
Like a grizled gangster
Clubbing in the night
To some
Like an obstinate captain
Steadily besieging barriers
To some
Like a brown adder
Lurking in violet speckled underbrush
To some
Like a gentle nurse
Taking their toys and stroking their hot brows.

Death will come to you, I think
Like an old shrewd gardener
Culling his rarest blossom ...

Published in Opportunity, August 1928

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