Less than the Slave

by Nancy Cunard

Nancy Cunard

She stood breast-high..yes, that is it, breast-high,
Faith with a cutlass armed in the still wood,
Amid the alien...yes, transplanted; stood
Saying “If God spare life this ends, and I
Need work no more for twenty cents a day!”
Lily! You knot from Africa! You thing
Less than the slave of old - fill baskets, bring
Cocoa and coffee; pick those beans; they’ll weigh.
So - you are worth two dimes, and men worth four
In those Antillian glades. Black, ragged, bowed
With agues, tired, illiterate - see their crowd
Dancing the cocoa on the drying-floor,
Democracies? Not here! IS as HAS BEEN -
Rulers, behold the sweet in your machine.


Last updated February 19, 2023