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A. Marshall Haas Poem Tribute

Written by Katherine Haas, Marshall Haas' daughter, who was a school teacher in Bunkie. The language is indicative of the era. Marshall was a country doctor in the highest sense of that profession, tending to patients of all races and economic backgrounds, often receiving payments in the form of chickens rather than cash.

 In Memoriam

By Katherine Haas

(written in honor of her father, A. Marshall Haas)

 

The Master of the House lay dead

All day

The gentry came their last respects

To pay

To that dear dust, and with a love

Sincere

They heaped their costly blossoms

On his bier.

Their kindness touched my heart;

But how much more 

Those humble ones came to the

Back door,

Shy, ignorant, inarticulate, yet each

Striving to comfort me with loving

Speech.

"Honey" said one "We's black and 

He was white

But Darktown's gonner be flood 

Wid tears dis nite!

De Marster always was de niggers

Friend.

He was so good to us!" Yas Lawd"

"Amen!"

 

Another came who had just heard

The news.

The dust of country roads was on

Her shoes

And grimed her tear-wet face for

All to see,

She held a scrawny chicken out to

Me.

"I thought he'd lak some broth,"

She bowed her head

"An so I brung dis hen. An' now

He's-Dead!" 

Then Jake, a graceless rogue just 

Out of jail,

"De Marster was de one what paid 

My bail.

If you needs any thing jes' ask,

Kaze law Miss.

I aint' got no money but I sho' 

Got sarvice."

I tried to thank him and the 

Ragged crowd

Echoed, "Jes' call on us Ma'am.

We'd be proud!"

 

A slim mulatto, usually so gay,

Then handed me a gaudy, small

Bouquet.

"Miss dese ain't lak de white folk's

Flowers I know

But Martser always 'mired mah 

Flowers, so

Could you jes' slip dem down 

Behin' des res'?"

"Oh, thank you, Mandy!  He would 

Like these best"

Poor Mandy choked. "Gawd know

Bes" she said.

"But look like he mighter took

Someone else instead!"

Old Uncle John laid his black hand 

On her shoulder.

"Gawd do know best. You'll know

When you gets older.

Gawd do know best, aldo hits hard

To bear.

Maybe us niggers needs a friend 

Up dere."


Owner/SourceDucote-Holland Private Collection
DateDec 1934
Linked toAlexander Marshall HAAS; Katherine Moore HAAS

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