Verse > Anthologies > James Weldon Johnson, ed. > The Book of American Negro Poetry
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James Weldon Johnson, ed. (1871–1938).  The Book of American Negro Poetry.  1922.
 
The Washer-Woman
 
Otto Leland Bohanan
 
 
A GREAT swart cheek and the gleam of tears,
The flutter of hopes and the shadow of fears,
And all day long the rub and scrub
With only a breath betwixt tub and tub.
Fool! Thou hast toiled for fifty years        5
And what hast thou now but thy dusty tears?
In silence she rubbed … But her face I had seen,
Where the light of her soul fell shining and clean.
 

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