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Mourning Poem for the Queen of Sunday

Lord's lost Him His mockingbird,
        His fancy warbler;
        Satan sweet-talked her,
        four bullets hushed her.
        Who would have thought
        she'd end that way?

Four bullets hushed her. And the world a-clang with evil.
Who's going to make old hardened sinner men tremble now
and the righteous rock?
Oh who and oh who will sing Jesus down
to help with struggling and doing without and being colored
all through blue Monday?
Till way next Sunday?

        All those angels
        in their cretonne clouds and finery
        the true believer saw
        when she rared back her head and sang,
        all those angels are surely weeping.
        Who would have thought
        she'd end that way?

Four holes in her heart. The gold works wrecked.
But she looks so natural in her big bronze coffin
among the Broken Hearts and Gates-Ajar,
it's as if any moment she'd lift her head
from its pillow of chill gardenias
and turn this quiet into shouting Sunday
and make folks forget what she did on Monday.

        Oh, Satan sweet-talked her,
        and four bullets hushed her.
        Lord's lost Him His diva,
        His fancy warbler's gone.
        Who would have thought,
        who would have thought she'd end that way?

Written by Robert Hayden (1913-1980)


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