Mr. Africa Poetry Lounge!

"Incense of the Lucky Virgin"

Incense of the Lucky Virgin,
High John the Conqueror
didn't bring him home again,
didn't get his children fed,
    get his children fed.

I prayed and what did prayer avail?
My candles held no power.
An evening came I prayed no more
and blew my candles out,
    oh blew my candles out.

Put on your Sunday ribbon-bows,
Cleola, Willie Mae;
you, Garland, go
and shine your Sunday shoes,
    make haste and shine your shoes.

They were so happy they forgot
they were hungry, daddyless.
Except Cleola maybe-she
wasn't asking, Where we going,
    Mommy, where we going?

Garland was too quick for me
(he didn't yell once as he ran);
Cleola, Willie Mae
won't be hungry any more,
    oh they'll never cry and hunger any more.

Written by Robert Hayden (1913-1980)


Mr. Africa Poetry Lounge