Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, AN INDIGNATION DINNER, by JAMES DAVID CORROTHERS



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AN INDIGNATION DINNER, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: Dey was hard times jes fo' christmas round our neighborhood one year
Last Line: Dat's all.
Subject(s): Christmas; Nativity, The


Dey was hard times jes fo' Christmas round our neighborhood
one year;
So we held a secret meetin' whah do white folks
couldn't hear,
To 'scuss de situation, an' to see what could be done
Towa'd a fust-class Christmas dinneh an' a little
Christmas fun.

Rufus Green who called de meetin' ris an' said: "In dis
here town,
An' throughout de land, de white folks is a'tryin'
to keep us down."
S' 'he: "Dey bought us, sold us, beat us; now dey 'buse
us 'ca'se we's free;
But when dey tetch my stomach, dey's done gone too
fur foh me!

"Is I right?" "You sho is, Rufus!" roared a dozen
hungry throats.
"Ef you'd keep a mule a-wo'kin', don't you tamper
wid his oats.
Dat's sense," continued Rufus. "But dese white
folks nowadays
Has gone got so close and stingy you can't live on
what dey pays.

"Here 'tis Christmas-time, an' folkses, I's indignant
'nough to choke.
Whah's our Christmas dinneh comin' when when we's
mos' completely broke?
I can't hahdly 'fo'd a toothpick an' a glass o'
water. Mad?
Say, I'm desp'ret! Dey jes better treat me nice,
dese white folks had!"

Well, dey 'bused de white folks scan'lous, till old
Pappy Simmons ris,
Leanin' on his cane to s'pote him, on account
his rheumatis',
An' s' 'e: "Chillun, whut's dat wintry wind a-sighin'
th'ough de street
'Bout you' wasted summeh wages? But, no matter,
we mus' eat.

"Now, I seed a beau'ful tuhkey on a certain
gemmun's fahm.
He's a-growin' fat an' sassy, an' a-struttin' to a chahm.
Chickens, sheeps, hogs, sweet pertaters -- all de
craps is fine dis year;
All we need is a committee foh to tote de goodies here."

Well, we lit right in an' voted dat it was a gran' idee,
An' de dinneh we had Christmas was worth trabblin'
miles to see;
An' we eat a full an' plenty, bit an' little, great
an' small,
Not beca'se we was dishonest, but indignant, sah.
Dat's all.






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