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James Weldon Johnson, ed. (1871–1938). The Book of American Negro Poetry. 1922.

Zalka Peetruza

SHE danced, near nude, to tom-tom beat,

With swaying arms and flying feet,

’Mid swirling spangles, gauze and lace,

Her all was dancing—save her face.

A conscience, dumb to brooding fears,

Companioned hearing deaf to cheers;

A body, marshalled by the will,

Kept dancing while a heart stood still:

And eyes obsessed with vacant stare,

Looked over heads to empty air,

As though they sought to find therein

Redemption for a maiden sin.

’Twas thus, amid force driven grace,

We found the lost look on her face;

And then, to us, did it occur

That, though we saw—we saw not her.