Daddy told my sister
She sounded like a crowing hen,
Whistling around the house, and
Not good for the barnyard or the men.
Momma whispered to her.
To make sure
Something to crow about.
began writing poetry in retirement this year. His poetry draws largely, though not exclusively, from his southern and African American roots, over the years of segregation and the Civil Rights Movement. He grew up in poverty in rural Louisiana, on a small farm, with nine brothers and sisters. His parents, Mose and Angeline Jefferson, although having only grade-school educations, instilled in him a strong faith in the power of God and of education. He went on to graduate from Southern University, and Harvard and Georgetown Schools of Law. He is the first African American to serve in Congress from Louisiana since Reconstruction. Mr. Jefferson has been married for 51 years to Dr. Andrea Green Jefferson, and they are the parents of five daughters and grandparents of eight grandchildren.