Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, SONG OF A WOMAN WITH TWINS, by MYRTLE EBERSTEIN

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Classic and Contemporary Poetry

SONG OF A WOMAN WITH TWINS, by            
First Line: Ou! Ou! Ou!
Last Line: Ou! Ou! Ou!
Subject(s): Twins

Ou! Ou! Ou!
When I was young and little,
And thought only of the mealies and the sun
And the wet whispering river water,
How could I tell what would befall me --
How could I know what should come to me!

Why did the demons come?
Why did they make me bear
Two bodies at one birth?
Ah, they were not like demons --
They were like little helpless man-children,
Little and hungry, with curling hands and feet,
Like the son I hoped to bear!

All the night I screamed.
And all the night I bore them --
Why did the witch-man's drum, beating by my head,
Why did the witch-man's charms, smelling strong with enchantment --
Why did they not keep the demons
From being born to me?
My father gave him cowries,

Cowries and a gun,
Taken from a white man
That he killed a year ago --
Slowly, slowly,
For good and lasting magic
That the gun should shoot straight.
None had such a gun!
And yet the demons came --
At my right breast a demon,
At my left breast a demon,
Sucking, sucking.

Oh, the little hungry mouths,
Oh, the little curling hands,
That they will drown tonight!

Ou! Ou! Ou!
When I was little and young,
Tumbling laughing in the sunshine,
How should I know what would come to me?
How should I know what would befall me?
Ou! Ou! Ou!

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