John Berryman

Dream Song 60: Afters eight years, be less dan eight percent

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Afters eight years, be less dan eight percent,
distinguish' friend, of coloured wif de whites
in de School, in de Souf.
—Is coloured gobs, is coloured officers,
Mr Bones. Dat's nuffin?—Uncle Tom,
sweep shut yo mouf,

is million blocking from de proper job,
de fairest houses & de churches eben.
—You may be right, Friend Bones.
Indeed you is. Defy flyin ober de world,
de pilots, ober ofays. Bit by bit
our immemorial moans

brown down to all dere moans. I flees that, sah.
They brownin up to ourn. Who gonna win?
—I wouldn't predict.
But I do guess mos peoples gonna lose.
I never saw no pickle wifout no hand.
O my, without no hand.

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John Berryman