The Turning Of The Babies In The Bed

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by Paul Laurence Dunbar


WOMAN 'S sho' a cur'ous critter,
an' dey ain't no doubtin' dat.
She 's a mess o' funny capahs fom huh
slippahs to huh hat.
Ef you tries to un'erstan' huh an' you
fails, des up an' say:
"D' ain't a bit o' use to try to
a woman's way."

I don' mean to be complainin', but I 's
a-settin' down
Some o' my own obserwations, w'en I
cas' my eye eroun'.
Ef you ax me fu' to prove it, I ken do it
mighty fine,
Fu' dey ain't no bettah 'zample den dis
ve'y wife o' mine.

ln de ve'y hea't o' midnight, w'en I 's
sleepin' good an' soun',
I kin hyeah a so't o' rustlin' an' some-
body movin' 'roun'.
An' I say, "Lize, whut you doin'?" But
she frown an' shek huh haid,
"Heish yo' mouf, I 's only tu'nin' of de
chillun in de bed.

"Don' you know a chile gits restless,
layin' all de night one way?
An' you' got to kind o' 'range him sev'al
times befo' de day?
So de little necks won't worry, an' de
little backs won't break;
Don' you t'ink case chillun 's chillun dey
hain't got no pain an' ache."

So she shakes 'em, an' she twists 'em,
an' she tu'ns 'em 'roun' erbout,
'Twell I don' see how de chillun evah
keeps fom hollahin' out.
Den she lif's 'em up head down'ards, so's
dey won't git livah-grown,
But dey snoozes des ez peacefill ez a
liza'd on a stone.

W'en hit 's mos' nigh time fu' wakin' on
de dawn o' jedgment day,
Seems lak I kin hyeah ol' Gab'iel lay his
trumpet down an' say,
"Who dat walkin' 'roun' so easy, down
on earf ermong de dead?"
'T will be Lizy up a-tu'nin' of de chillun
in de bed.

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