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Sarracino, Carmine, 1944- / The heart of war
(2004)

Day of jubilo,   pp. 30-32


Page 30


Day ofJubilo
I.
Thursdays was the whipping day.
They lined and caned us slaves
no matter we done wrong or not.
So come a Wednesday I felt blue.
On such a day misfortune fell.
In the shed, the monkeys picking our heads
that biggest called Caesar screams-
for he can find no boogies in my nap-
and thumps me with his fist. Damnation!
Mr. Jennings and even Aunt Mary laughed.
But the only one thing in my head was this:
Be whipping me tomorrow anyhow.
So I grab Caesar both hands on his foot
spin him round and slam him on the wall!
He lays out cold. Everybody stares.
Jaws so dropped I might have hung oil lamps.
There.
Now whip me for the wrong I done.
Next day they brought two men
special for my whipping.
One with a great beard and long lash
looped in coils. Both wore guns.
They come in the gate and to my surprise
from round the house here comes Ma at a run-
and lights on them a hawk on rats!
30


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