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Harlem
-Langston Hughes

What happens to a dream deferred?
Does it dry up
like a raisin in the sun?
Or fester like a sore —
And then run?
Does it stink like rotten meat?
Or crust and sugar over —
Like a syrupy sweet?
Maybe it just sags
like a heavy load.
Or does it explode?

From Collected Poems. Copyright ©1994 by The Estate
of Langston Hughes.
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