by Paul Laurence Dunbar
MAMMY'S in de kitchen, an' de do'
All de piccaninnies climb an' tug an'
Gittin' to de winder, stickin' dah lak
Evah one ermong us des all nose an' eyes.
"Whut she cookin', Isaac? Whut she
Is it sweet pertaters? Is hit pie er
But we couldn' mek out even whah we
Whut was mammy cookin' dat could smell
Mammy spread de winder, an' she frown
How de piccaninnies come a-tumblin'
Den she say: "Ef you all keep a-peepin'
How I 's gwine to whup you, my! 't 'll
be a sin!
Need n' come a-sniffin' an' a-nosin'
'Ca'se I knows my business, don't you
Won't somebody tell us -how I wish
dey would! -
Whut is mammy cookin' dat smells so
We know she means business, an' we
Dough it 's mighty tryin' fu' to go erway;
But we goes a troopin' down de ol' wood-
'Twell dat steamin' kitchen brings us
Climbin' an' a-peepin' so 's to see
Whut on earf kin mammy be so sha'p to
I 'd des up an' tell folks w'en I knowed I
Ef I was a-cookin' t'ings dat smelt so
Mammy in de oven, an' I see huh smile;
Moufs mus' be a-wat'rin' roun' hyeah fu'
Den we almo' hollah ez we hu'ies down,
'Ca'se hit apple dumplin's big an' fat an'
W'en de do' is opened, solemn lak an'
Wisht you see us settin' all dah in a row.
lnnercent an' p'opah, des lak chillun
W'en dey mammy's cookin' t'ings dat
smell so good.