Standing to America, bringing homeblack gold, black ivory, black seed.
Middle Passage (lines 15-16), from Collected Poems (1985)
Sundays too my father got up earlyand put his clothes on in the blueblack cold,then with cracked hands that achedfrom labor in the weekday weather madebanked fires blaze. No one ever thanked him.Robert Hayden
What did I know, what did I knowof love's austere and lonely offices?Robert Hayden
Oh who and oh who will sing Jesus downto help with struggling and doing without and being coloredall through blue Monday?Till way next Sunday?Robert Hayden
This man, this Douglass, this former slave, this Negrobeaten to his knees, exiled, visioning a worldwhere none is lonely, none hunted, alien,this man, superb in love and logic, this manshall be remembered.Robert Hayden