A Poem by Janet Lilethia Harvey


I’ve dreamt of coming
face flushed eyes starry bright
— but I dread coming home empty handed. The thought
twists my nerves to threads
many years my soul aches to see you again.

This dreamland — illusion from across the shores
only the waves of the ocean knew the secrets,
if we had just listened
to the message in the seashells
lying there on the sand.

Grain small are the pay here — we work oceans of
for a dollar, yet we are handed but fifty cents
bills are much — hence the confusions are such
we cheating the game of chance
stealing from peter to pay Paul.

When the palms are not enough to heal the soul
Papa — Papa is it too late, the sun is down on my laboring
In debt for comfort — yet never see the bed bought on credit
till morning when sun peeks through ice condensed windows
I bargain with sleep
to tow the weary body to rest
and a temporary escape.

— Janet Lilethia Harvey