ten               

            I's extra. Dey's lots o' wo'k—I not sit down mo' 'an twice since sun-up—but I's extra. Dey make like dey gots to think comes up wiff somethin' "occupy my time". Den it a'ways somethin' nas'y like emp'yin' de piss-pots, o' rakin' de compos', o' scrubbin' grit offen de stove an' pans an' kettles an' such. Den dey complain I not do right, an' say dey jus' cain't imagine hows come Massah buy hisse'f such a no-'coun' nigger. Den dey raise dey eyebrows an' snicker, sen' me off do somethin' else none o' dem wan's do. Think dey bein' hard on me, I reckon. But dey don' know hard. Hard be when a nigger wo'k in de fiel' aw day on a emp'y stomach, den be up mos' de night cardin' so 's mammy won' faw behine de quota, den nurse de suckers when dey cry, den mayhap flops down fo' a hour on de husks wiff de lice an' fleas, den be woke up 'fo'e dawn, scratchin' an swoll-eye, an' do de same thin' over again seven day a week, month' af'er month', year in, year out, fo' de res' o' yo' nat'ral life. Dat hard. So I don' complain. Den Beulah finely sof'en some an' axe me durin' dinner do I wan's bunk wiff Tess an' Marisee in de cellah. I say, "No, ma'am," an' dey looks at me s'if I ungra'eful an' some'un so ungra'eful oughten be lef' livin'. I hol' my tongue; don' let on how goin' up my room 'bout de sweetes' thin' in her overcrowded life dis nigger ever knowed.

            So here I be in de dark wiff de moon peepin' in my windah, makin' ev'thin' sof' an' blue; dat moonbeam creepin' tow'd my toes. I clean, an' fed, an', iffen I keep my arms an' legs spread out, I cool. Mammy, yo' girl missin' you—her lonesome an' confuse'—but fo' de firs' time since us part Jewel awmos' feelin' peaceful.