Fruit Of The Flower

By Countee Cullen

My father is a quiet man
    With sober, steady ways;
For simile, a folded fan;
    His nights are like his days.

My mother’s life is puritan,
    No hint of cavalier,
A pool so calm you’re sure it can
    Have little depth to fear.

And yet my father’s eyes can boast
    How full his life has been;
There haunts them yet the languid ghost
    Of some still sacred sin.

And though my mother chants of God,
    And of the mystic river,
I’ve seen a bit of checkered sod
    Set all her flesh aquiver.

Why should he deem it pure mischance
    A son of his is fain
To do a naked tribal dance
    Each time he hears the rain?

Why should she think it devil’s art
    That all my songs should be
Of love and lovers, broken heart,
    And wild sweet agony?

Who plants a seed begets a bud,
    Extract of that same root;
Why marvel at the hectic blood
    That flushes this wild fruit?