"Preparation" by Effie Waller Smith was offered by Poets.org's Poem-A-Day on February 16, 2014. A link to the poem may be found here: http://www.poets.org/viewmedia.php/prmMID/23878?utm_source=PAD%3A+Preparation+by+Effie+Waller+Smith&utm_campaign=poemaday_021614&utm_medium=email.
Effie Waller Smith (1879 - 1960) (pictured) was the daughter of former African American slaves. She attended Kentucky State Normal School for Colored Persons and published three volumes of poems. Additional biographical information may be found here: https://muse.jhu.edu/login?auth=0&type=summary&url=/journals/appalachian_heritage/v036/36.3.engelhardt.html.
The moral lesson of "Preparation" is expressed simply, perhaps starkly, in rhyming iambic pentameter. Those not born to lives of leisure, and perhaps even those, prepare all their lives for what they really want to do, only to find that their lives are too soon over and not well-lived.