My shining feet will never run
On early morning lawn;
My feet were crushed before they had
A chance to greet the dawn.
My fingers now will never stretch
To touch the winning tape;
My race was done before I learned
The smallest steps to take.
My growing height will never be
Recorded on the wall;
My growth was stopped when I was still
Unseen, and very small.
My lips and tongue will never taste
The good fruits of the earth;
For I myself was judged to be
A fruit of little worth.
My eyes will never scan the sky
For my high-flying kite;
For when still blind, destroyed were they
In the black womb of night.
I'll never stand upon a hill
Spring's winds in my hair;
Aborted winds of thought closed in
On motherhood's despair.
I'll never walk the shores of life,
Or know the tides of time;
For I was coming, but unloved;
And that my only crime.
Nameless am I, a grain of sand,
One of the countless dead;
But the deed that made me ashen grey
Floats on seas of red.