Mother, what ill breeding of me
Or what disfigured my life unsightly
Poor did I go unwisely kept?
Unasked of my church christening,
That a priest sent black and white
Dressed women with nodding heads
And bilious eyes, to cast me to a street.
A fate properly sealed, a promise
Seasoned to poverty, a vow stamped
With threadbare scruples? Perhaps.
I may never be immaculately clean, I
But hold my soul erect. I will wear my
Deeds behind tattered clothing; sharp
Is my mind- a voice to arise from the
Dankness. At a yes, to write without
Fame- on a journey that I may tease
Out thoughts from an aging mind, to
Navigate words with callous fingers;
But never to grovel a fee from the
Buffoonery of others, nor seek a
Reputation on a poem; to my own
Heart say, be satisfied with my
Unmistakable self, to walk in my way
Alone, free in the occasion to speak,
To proclaim my spirit and imagination;
So, if by chance, I win in some triumph,
I will render no share on cloistered steps.
I stand, not high it may be, but alone.