THE INNER PART - Langston Hughes Poems


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When they had won the war
And for the first time in history
Americans were the most important people --
When the leading citizens no longer lived in their shirtsleeves
and their wives did not scratch in public
Just when they'd stopped saying "Gosh" --
When their daughters seemed as sensitive
as the tip of a fly rod,
and their sons were as smooth as a V-8 engine --
Priests, examining the entrails of birds,
Found the heart misplaced, and seeds
As black as death, emitting a strange odor.