Claude McKay's Early Poetry (1911-1922): A Digital Collection

Fetchin' Water

Watch how dem touris' like fe look
   Out 'pon me little daughter,
Whenever fe her tu'n to cook
   Or fetch a pan of water:
      De sight look gay;
      Dat is one way,
      But I can tell you say,
'Nuff rock'tone in  de sea, yet none
But those 'pon lan' know 'bouten sun

De pickny comin' up de hill,
   Fightin' wid heavy gou'd,
Won't say it sweet him, but he will 
   Complain about de load:
      Him feel de weight,
      Dem watch him gait;
      It's so some of de great
High people fabour t'ink it sweet
Fe batter in de boilin' heat. 

Dat boy wid de karásene pan,
   Sulky down to him toe,
His back was rollin' in a san',
   For him pa mek him crow
      Him feel it bad,
      Near mek him mad,
      But teach him he's a lad;
Go disobey him fader wud,
When he knows dat his back would sud!  

But Sarah Jane she wus 'an all,
   For she t'row 'way de pan,
An' jam her back agains' de wall
   Fe fight her mumma Fan:
      Feelin' de pinch,
      She mek a wrinch
      An' get 'way; but de wench
Try fe put shame upon her ma,
Say dat she cook de bittle raw.

Dis water-fetchin' sweet dem though
   When day mek up dem min',
An' 'nuff o' dem 'tart out fe go,
   An' de weader is fine:
      De pan might leak,
      Dem don't a 'peak,
      Nor eben try fe seek
Some clay or so to mek it soun';
Dem don't care ef dem wet all roun'. 

Dén all 'bout de road dem 'catter
   Marchin' álong quite at ease;
Dat time listen to deir chatter,
   Talkin' anyt'ing dem please:
      Dem don't a fear,
      Neider a care,
      For who can interfere?
T'ree mile -- five, six tu'n, -- an' neber
W'ary, but could do it for eber. 

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