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The Palm Wine Seller


Akosua selling palm wine
In the broiling heat;
Akosua selling palm wine
Down our street.


Frothing calabashes
Filled unto the brim;
Boatmen quaffing palm wine
In toil's interim.


Tossing off their palm wine,
Boatmen deem her fair;
Through the haze of palm wine,
Note her jet-black hair.


Roundness of her bosom,
Brilliance of her eyes,
Lips that form a cupid's bow,
Whereon love's dew lies.


Velvet gleam of shoulder,
Arch of bare black feet,
Soft caressing hands,
These her charms complete.


Thus illusioned boatmen
Dwell on 'Kosua's charms,
Blind to fallen bosom,
Knotted thin black arms.


Lips creased in by wrinkles,
Eyes dimmed with the years,
Feet whose arch was altered,
Treading vales of tears.


Hair whose roots life's madness
Knotted and turned wild.
On her heart a load of care,
On her back, a child.


Akosua selling palm wine
In the broiling heat;
Akosua selling palm wine
Down our street.

Written by Gladys May Casely-Hayford (1904-1950)

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