Hear then the story of Bigger T.
A common tale and not pretty.
Native son of the windy city.
Never felt that he was free.
Wound up dead when he tried to be.
Why did I do it? I don’t know!
Hot from the liquor, cold from the snow.
Gal in the bed, her mom at the do’.
Trapped like a rat, nowhere to go.
Covered her mouth while I laid low.
Bigger killed that young girl dead.
Laid her down on a hot coal bed.
Then took a brick to his girlfriend’s head.
Across the rooftops Bigger fled.
Nearly escaped but got caught instead.
Got myself a real smart Jew
a left wing lawyer, thought he knew
a way to talk the judge into
a life in prison that I could do.
But when they were finished I was through.
Bigger the victim? What a switch!
That murdering, raping, son of a bitch!
Was no other man ever born in a ditch?
Or prevented by fate from relieving his itch?
Is poverty then to be blamed on the rich?
Bigger Thomas is a character in the book, Native Son written by Richard Wright one of the great lights of the Harlem Renaissance.
If you are by chance interested in an analysis of how I came to write this poem check out ‘An analysis of the writing of the poem, ‘The Story of Bigger T’