Emily Pauline Johnson

The Corn Husker

    Hard by the Indian lodges, where the bush
        Breaks in a clearing, through ill-fashioned fields,
    She comes to labour, when the first still hush
        Of autumn follows large and recent yields.

    Age in her fingers, hunger in her face,
        Her shoulders stooped with weight of work and years,
    But rich in tawny colouring of her race,
        She comes a-field to strip the purple ears.

    And all her thoughts are with the days gone by,
        Ere might's injustice banished from their lands
    Her people, that to-day unheeded lie,
        Like the dead husks that rustle through her hands.

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