Incident

(2000)

"Incident" is the fourth song of Tom Cipullo's song cycle Climbing: 7 Songs on 8 Poems by African-Americans.

Incident
by Countee Cullen


(For Eric Walrond)


Once riding in old Baltimore,
Heart-filled, head-filled with glee,
I saw a Baltimorean
Keep looking straight at me.


Now I was eight and very small,
And he was no whit bigger,
And so I smiled, but he poked out
His tongue, and called me, “Nigger.”


I saw the whole of Baltimore
From May until December;
Of all the things that happened there
That’s all that I remember.


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