Nonfiction > Upton Sinclair, ed. > The Cry for Justice

Upton Sinclair, ed. (1878–1968).
The Cry for Justice: An Anthology of the Literature of Social Protest.  1915.
The Factories

By Margaret Widdemer

(Contemporary American poet)
I HAVE shut my little sister in from life and light
  (For a rose, for a ribbon, for a wreath across my hair),
I have made her restless feet still until the night,
  Locked from sweets of summer and from wild spring air;
I who ranged the meadow lands, free from sun to sun,        5
  Free to sing and pull the buds and watch the far wings fly,
I have bound my sister till her playing-time is done—
  Oh, my little sister, was it I?—was it I?
I have robbed my sister of her day of maidenhood
  (For a robe, for a feather, for a trinket’s restless spark),        10
Shut from Love till dusk shall fall, how shall she know good,
  How shall she pass scatheless through the sinlit dark?
I who could be innocent, I who could be gay,
  I who could have love and mirth before the light went by,
I have put my sister in her mating-time away—        15
  Sister, my young sister,—was it I?—was it I?
I have robbed my sister of the lips against her breast
  (For a coin, for the weaving of my children’s lace and lawn),
Feet that pace beside the loom, hands that cannot rest,
  How can she know motherhood, whose strength is gone?        20
I who took no heed of her, starved and labor-worn,
  I against whose placid heart my sleepy gold heads lie,
Round my path they cry to me, little souls unborn,
  God of Life—Creator! It was I! It was I!
Click here to shop the Bartleby Bookstore.

Shakespeare · Bible · Strunk · Anatomy · Nonfiction · Quotations · Reference · Fiction · Poetry
© 1993–2015 · [Top 150] · Subjects · Titles · Authors