English poetry

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A Black Man Talks of Reaping

A Black Man Talks of Reaping

I have sown beside all waters in my day.
I planted deep, within my heart the fear
That wind or fowl would take the grain away.
I planted safe against this stark, lean year.

I scattered seed enough to plant the land
In rows from Canada to Mexico
But for my reaping only what the hand
Can hold at once is all that I can show.

Yet what I sowed and what the orchard yields
My brother’s sons are gathering stalk and root;
Small wonder then my children glean in fields
They have not sown, and feed on bitter fruit.



Poem A Black Man Talks of Reaping - Arna Bontemps