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Mother to Son, By LANGSTON HUGHES

February 21, 1993

Well, son, I'll tell you:

Life for me ain't been no crystal stair.

It's had tacks in it,

And splinters,

And boards torn up,

And places with no carpet on the floor--

Bare.

But all the time

I's been a-climbin' on,

And reachin' landin's,

And turnin' corners,

And sometimes goin' in the dark

Where there ain't been no light.

So boy, don't you turn back.

Don't you set down on the steps

'Cause you find it's kinder hard.

Don't you fall now--

For I's still goin, honey,

I's still climbin',

And life for me ain't been no crystal stair.

From "Caroling Dusk: An Anthology of Verse by Black Poets" (Carol Publishing Group: $10.95.) 1927 by Harper & Brothers. 1993 by Carol Publishing Group. Reprinted by permission .

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