Sadie and Maud By Gwendolyn Brooks

Maud went to college.   
Sadie stayed at home.   
Sadie scraped life
With a fine-tooth comb.

She didn’t leave a tangle in.   
Her comb found every strand.
Sadie was one of the livingest chits   
In all the land.

Sadie bore two babies   
Under her maiden name.   
Maud and Ma and Papa   
Nearly died of shame.

When Sadie said her last so-long   
Her girls struck out from home.   
(Sadie had left as heritage
Her fine-tooth comb.)

Maud, who went to college,   
Is a thin brown mouse.
She is living all alone
In this old house.

Gwendolyn Brooks, “Sadie and Maud” from Selected Poems. Reprinted by consent of Brooks Permissions.

Source: Selected Poems (1963)

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