In the Village

A Norther -- Key West

Like little blackbirds in the street
the little Negroes lift their feet,
    the sidewalks freeze;

the tin roofs all look frozen, too,
the flowers blackened, and how blue
    the big palm trees!

While steadily the norther churns
the pale-green sea until it turns
    to lime milk sherbet,

and careful mother Mizpah Oates
brings out the ancient winter coats
    for Hannibal and Herbert,

once worn by an immense white child.
She drives her gentle children wild
    by her obtuseness.

Hannibal weeps. Oh tragedy!
The waist hangs almost to his knee!
    Oh, worldliness!