The Way It Was (1937)
In town, a man came up to Amos
saying he hadn’t eaten in three days.
Amos knew he’d give the man food
if this were his farm,
but it was town.
“There are Colored folk in Sparta.
You can get food there.”
Sparta was twenty miles away.
Fifty years later, Amos still told the story
on himself, of the man turned away
because of his skin, Amos still wishing
he’d been more brave.
The Way It Was (1937) was previously published in Phantoms (2008)
Matt Quinn is a freelance writer and professional genealogist who lives in St. Louis, MO.