Langston Hughes
Mother to Son (c. 1951)

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Well, son, Iíll tell you:

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Life for me ainít been no crystal stair.

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Itís had tacks in it,

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And splinters,

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And boards torn up,

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And places with no carpet on the flooró

 

 

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Bare.

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But all the time,

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Iíse been a-climbiní on,

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And reachiní landinís,

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And turniní corners,

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And sometimes goiní in the dark

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Where there ainít been no light.

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So boy, donít turn your back.

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Donít you set down on the steps!

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ĎCause youíll find itís kinder hard.

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Donít you fall nowó

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For Iíse still goiní, honey,

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Iíse still climbiní,

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And life for me ainít been no crystal stair.