Today's Beautiful Gem: `For My People' by Margaret Walker (Part I)

"For my people everywhere singing their slave songs repeatedly:
their dirges and their ditties and their blues and jubilees,
praying their prayers nightly to an unknown god, bending their
knees humbly to an unseen power;

"For my people lending their strength to the years: to the gone
years and the now years and the maybe years, washing ironing
cooking scrubbing sewing mending hoeing plowing digging planting
pruning patching dragging along never reaping never knowing
and never understanding;

"For my playmates in the clay and dust and sand of Alabama
backyards playing baptising and preaching, and doctor and jail
and soldier and school and mama and cooking and playhouse and
concert and store and Miss Choomby and hair and company;

"For the cramped bewildered years we went to school to learn
to know the reasons why and the answers to and the people who
and the places where and the days when, in memory of the bitter
hours when we discovered we were black and poor and small and
different and nobody wondered and nobody understood;

"For the boys and girls who grew in spite of these things to
be Man and Woman, to laugh and dance and sing and drink their
wine and religion and success, to marry their playmates and bear
children and then die of consumption and anemia and lynching;"

Om s'aantih: Peace! - J. K. Mohana Rao