Will V-Day Be Me-Day Too

Over There,
World War II.

Dear Fellow Americans,
I write this letter
Hoping times will be better
When this war
Is through.
I'm a Tan-skinned Yank
Driving a tank.
I ask, WILL V-DAY
BE ME-DAY, TOO?

I wear a U. S. uniform.
I've done the enemy much harm,
I've driven back
The Germans and the Japs,
From Burma to the Rhine.
On every battle line,
I've dropped defeat
Into the Fascists' laps.

I am a Negro American
Out to defend my land


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Wilfred

What of these tender feet
   That have never toddled yet?
   What dances shall they beat,
   With what red vintage wet?
In what wild way will they march or stray, by what sly paynims met?

   The toil of it none may share;
   By yourself must the way be won
   Through fervid or frozen air
   Till the overland journey's done;
And I would not take, for your own dear sake, one thorn from your track,
   my son.

   Go forth to your hill and dale,
   Yet take in your hand from me


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Widow and Very Special Mother

In nineteen hundred twenty four,
Because our father died,
Our mother had to go to work,
And swallow family pride.
She had three youngsters then to raise;
It was no easy task;
For handout or for charity,
She wouldn't ever ask.

She paid her way, and theirs, as well,
An everlasting grind:
Example of the highest type
That one could ever find.
From typist to important jobs,
Advancing all the way;
Was dedicated to her work,
And she was there to stay.


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Who Goes Home

In the city set upon slime and loam
They cry in their parliament 'Who goes home?'
And there comes no answer in arch or dome,
For none in the city of graves goes home.
Yet these shall perish and understand,
For God has pity on this great land.

Men that are men again; who goes home?
Tocsin and trumpeter! Who goes home?
For there's blood on the field and blood on the foam
And blood on the body when Man goes home.
And a voice valedictory . . . Who is for Victory?
Who is for Liberty? Who goes home?


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Who Goes Home

In the city set upon slime and loam
They cry in their parliament 'Who goes home?'
And there comes no answer in arch or dome,
For none in the city of graves goes home.
Yet these shall perish and understand,
For God has pity on this great land.

Men that are men again; who goes home?
Tocsin and trumpeter! Who goes home?
For there's blood on the field and blood on the foam
And blood on the body when Man goes home.


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Where's My Billy Goat Gone To

'Twas a birthday gift Miss Posie had
When she was nine, and twenty:
Not of gold -- Oh, no! -- nor gem, nor pearl,
Tho' he who gave had plenty.
'Twas a gift she took so much to heart,
Her neighbors thought her silly;
'Twas a B-A-B-Y (Baby) Goat,
A snow-white Baby Billy!
Pretty little Billy, Billy -- Oh!
Where's my Billy Goat gone to?

Take my home! Take my farm!
Yes, me too (if you want to);
But tell me! tell me!
Where's my Billy Goat gone to?
Pretty little Billy, Billy -- Oh!


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Where We Live Now

1

We live here because the houses
are clean, the lawns run
right to the street

and the streets run away.
No one walks here.
No one wakens at night or dies.

The cars sit open-eyed
in the driveways.
The lights are on all day.

2

At home forever, she has removed
her long foreign names
that stained her face like hair.

She smiles at you, and you think
tears will start from the corners
of her mouth. Such a look


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Where is it Clean

when your mother can rise from her place
on the pew during the early service,

early enough that the sun barely fills the sky
with its weak straw, but row after row

in the auditorium is flush with folks who want
to be home before the football game gets underway

or hate the slower pace the later service takes
but still got to get their god on

before starting a new week: when she can rise
and tip down the aisle, three-inch heels

pointing a warning at hell through the plush


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When you were born in this world - Dohas II

When you were born in this world
Everyone laughed while you cried
Conduct NOT yourself in manner such
That they laugh when you are gone

Kabir's mind got cleansed like the holy Ganges water
Now everyone follows, saying Kabir Kabir

Guru the washer man, disciple is the cloth
The name of God liken to the soap
Wash the mind on foundation firm
To realize the glow of Truth

Alive one sees, alive one knows
Thus crave for salvation when full of life


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When You Meet a Man from Your Own Home Town

Sing, O Muse, in treble clef,
A little song of the A.E.F.,
And pardon me, please, if I give vent
To something akin to sentiment.
But we have our moments Over Here
When we want to cry and we want to cheer;
And the hurrah feeling will not down
When you meet a man from your own home town.

It's many a lonesome, longsome day
Since you embarked from the U.S.A.,
And you met some men--it's a great big war--
From towns that you never had known before;
And you landed here, and your rest camp mate


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