Poetry Friday : February 3, 2017.
But the Egyptians mistreated and oppressed us,
assigning us a burdensome labor.
There was a magic number–
Seventy bolls make a pound,
Seven thousand make a hundred.
A hundred pounds of feathers,
A hundred pounds of lint dust,
A hundred pounds of cotton in a day.
Reaching past the branches
Into the cotton flower,
Pulling walnut-sized bolls
From barbed, five-pointed cockle-burs.
Seven thousand times
For a hundred pounds a day.
Repetitive picking motion,
Backbreaking stoop labor,
Cramped hands, fingers locked in place,
Mind-numbing and endless
Sunup to sundown picking
A hundred pounds each day.
© 2016 Alice Nine, a found poem from The Warmth of Other Suns by Isabel Wilkerson
February is National African American History month.
Isabel Wilkerson’s The Warmth of Other Suns weaves back and forth across time and our land, telling the compelling true stories of the hope and longings of three young people who fled the South, each in a different decade during the Great Migration when six million African-Americans left their homes for the North and West. This is the little-known story of the greatest migration of people within the borders of a single country. It is an untold part of American history.
In Isabel Wilkerson’s words, in her description of the hard labor of cotton picking, I found my poem.
What is a found poem?
Read about it HERE.
Penny at A Penny and Her Jots is hosting the Poetry Friday Roundup today. Thank you, Penny!
If you’d like to know more about Poetry Friday, click HERE for an explanation by Renee LaTulippe.