Gris-Gris, an online journal of literature, culture & the arts
Fiction   /   Nonfiction   /   Poetry

American Ballad

by N. Scott Momaday

 

Where do you come from,

And where do you go?

Where do you come from,

My cotton-eye Joe?

 

Well, I come from the darkness,

And I come in despair,

I come from the darkness

And again will go there.

 

Black smoke’s arisin’,

Yonder comes a train.

Winter’s comin’ on,

Hear the whistle in the rain.

 

Down in the valley,

The valley so low,

The rails run to darkness.

To darkness I’ll go.

 

Well, there do you come from,

And there do you go,

For there do you come from,

My cotton-eye Joe.