So I went looking for a poem by him, and found this one, which I'd read before and, in fact, was convinced I'd already posted. But a search of my archives said otherwise, so I copied it and formatted it just so, and then pulled up Countee Cullen's Wikipedia page to get his dates, whereupon I saw that his article said he'd been born on May 30, not March 30. Say what? There's a lot of confusion about Cullen's early life; no one's quite sure when he was born, nor even where, for that matter. Part of me wonders if may once I'd considered posting the poem, then decided not to when I couldn't confirm the date. Kind of sounds like something I'd do, but the last time March 30 fell on a Saturday was 2002, and I wasn't posting poetry on Saturdays then. Nor much of anything, for that matter; I'd only created my LiveJournal account four days earlier.
It's also possible that I decided not to use it because it contains an ugly racial slur. If so, I'm not letting that stop me this time, but I will hide the whole thing behind a cut so anyone who would rather avoid seeing that word — you probably know the one I mean — can avoid doing so.
(For Eric Walrond)
Once riding in old Baltimore,
Heart-filled, head-filled with glee,
I saw a Baltimorean
Keep looking straight at me.
Now I was eight and very small,
And he was no whit bigger,
And so I smiled, but he poked out
His tongue, and called me, “Nigger.”
I saw the whole of Baltimore
From May until December;
Of all the things that happened there
That’s all that I remember.
Countee Cullen (1903-1946)