Listen Here, Joe


"Listen Here, Joe" is the second song of Siegmeister's The Face of War cycle, which sets five texts of Langston Hughes.

Without Benefit of Declaration
by Langston Hughes

Listen here, Joe,
Don't you know
That tomorrow
You got to go
Out yonder where
The steel winds blow?

Listen here, kid,
It's been said
Tomorrow you'll be dead
Out there where
The rain is lead.

Don't ask me why.
Just go ahead and die.
Hidden from the sky
Out yonder you'll lie:
A medal to your family--
In exchange for
A guy.

Mama, don't cry.

--The Collected Poems of Langston Hughes, p. 446


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