POETS Main Page INDEX of Poets INDEX of Titles & First Lines Madgett Menu

Madgett

 
Naomi Long Madgett
b. 1923

 
"Midway"

1959

 

I've come this far to freedom and I won't turn back
I'm climbing to the highway from my old dirt track
     I'm coming and I'm going
     And I'm stretching and I'm growing
And I'll reap what I've been sowing or my skin's not black
I've prayed and slaved and waited and I've sung my song
You've bled me and you've starved me but I've still grown strong
     You've lashed me and you've treed me
     And you've everything but freed me
But in time you'll know you need me and it won't be long.
I've seen the daylight breaking high above the bough
I've found my destination and I've made my vow;
     So whether you abhor me
     Or deride me or ignore me
Mighty mountains loom before me and I won't stop now.

 
Madgett's note:
["Midway was first published in Freedomways in 1959, but I think I wrote it in 1958. The poem grew out of a discussion with a friend that acknowledged that the Supreme Court desegregation ruling, which legalized racial justice for the first time, led to the determination of Black people to move forward and never again accept the status quo."]

 

© Naomi Long Madgett
Buy Naomi Madgett's poetry

POETS Main Page INDEX of Poets INDEX of Titles & First Lines Madgett Menu