Taken Aback

Let me go, Joe, for I want go home:
   Can’t stan’ wid you,
   For pa might go come;
An’ if him only hab him rum,
I don’t know whatever I’ll do.

I must go now, for it’s gettin’ night
   I am afraid,
   An’ tis not moonlight:
Give me de last hug, an’ do it tight;
Me pa gwin’ go knock off me head.

No, Joe, don’t come!—you will keep me late,
   An’ pa might be
   In him sober state;
Him might get vex’ an’ lock up de gate,
Den what will becomin’ of me?

Go wid you, Joe?—you don’t lub me den!
   I shame’ o’ you—
   Gals caan’ trust you men!
An’ I b’en tekin’ you fe me frien’;
Good-night, Joe, you’ve proven untrue.

From Songs of Jamaica (Aston W. Gardner & Co., 1912) by Claude McKay. This poem is in the public domain.