Langston Hughes’ mama told him “Life ain’t been no crystal stair”
Well, I reckon it be the same way for me, too
No crystal stair ever showed up for me,
To ascend me to heaven
To let me hear the sweet Jazz of Jesus
No, only hard, cold stairs,
That break my soft, brittle bones as I’m pushed down them
For trying to attend school
For drinking out of their fountains
For sitting in their seats.
No, crystal is pure, pristine, and clear –
It has no room for me
For I am black, sinned, and ugly to them.
It can not bear the weight of my calloused feet,
Tainted with mud from the fields I tend
Nor can my measly wages pay for such a serene stair.
So, instead, I bury my despair
The stair is shattered, and so are my dreams
Now, with broom in hand,
I must sweep this mess up before mas’a come home and sees