Mr. Africa Poetry Lounge!
Once they were sticks and stones
I feared would break my bones:
Four Eyes. And worse.
Old Four Eyes fled
to safety in the danger zones
Tom Swift and Kubla Khan traversed.
When my fourth decade came,
I learned my name was not my name.
I felt deserted, mocked.
Why had the old ones lied?
No matter. They were dead.
And the name on the books was dead,
like the life my mother fled,
like the life I might have known.
You don't exist-at least
not legally, the lawyer said.
As ghost, double, alter ego then?
Written by Robert Hayden (1913-1980)
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