Lucille Clifton
Good Times by Lucille Clifton

Good Times by Lucille Clifton

my daddy has paid the rentand the insurance man is goneand the lights is back onand my uncle brud has hitfor one dollar straightand they is good timesgood timesgood timesmy mama ...

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Homage To My Hips by Lucille Clifton

Homage To My Hips by Lucille Clifton

these hips are big hips.they need space to move around in.they don't fit into littlepetty places. these hipsare free hips.they don't like to be held back.these hips have never ...

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Sisters by Lucille Clifton

Sisters by Lucille Clifton

me and you be sisters.we be the same.me and youcoming from the same place.me and yoube greasing our legstouching up our edges.me and yoube scared of ratsbe stepping on roaches.me ...

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To A Dark Moses by Lucille Clifton

To A Dark Moses by Lucille Clifton

you are the onei am lit for.Come with your rodthat twistsand is a serpent.i am the bush.i am burningi am not consumed.

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Fury by Lucille Clifton

Fury by Lucille Clifton

for mamaremember this.she is standing bythe furnace.the coalsglisten like rubies.her hand is crying.her hand is clutchinga sheaf of papers.poems.she gives them up.they burnjewels ...

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Miss Rosie by Lucille Clifton

Miss Rosie by Lucille Clifton

when I watch you wrapped up like garbage sitting, surrounded by the smell of too old potato peels orwhen I watch you in your old man's shoes with the little toe cut out sitting, ...

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Adam Thinking by Lucille Clifton

Adam Thinking by Lucille Clifton

shestolen from my boneis it any wonderi hunger to tunnel backinside desperateto reconnect the rib and clayand to be whole againsome need is in mestruggling to roar through mymouth ...

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Memory by Lucille Clifton

Memory by Lucille Clifton

ask me to tell how it feelsremembering your mother's faceturned to water under the white wordsof the man at the shoe store. ask me,though she tells it better than i do,not because ...

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The Lost Baby Poem by Lucille Clifton

The Lost Baby Poem by Lucille Clifton

the time i dropped your almost body downdown to meet the waters under the cityand run one with the sewage to the seawhat did i know about waters rushing backwhat did i know about ...

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Cutting Greens by Lucille Clifton

Cutting Greens by Lucille Clifton

curling them aroundi hold their bodies in obscene embracethinking of everything but kinship.collards and kalestrain against each strange otheraway from my kissmaking hand andthe ...

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The Photograph: A Lynching by Lucille Clifton

The Photograph: A Lynching by Lucille Clifton

is it the cut glass of their eyeslooking up towardthe new gnarled branch of the black manhanging from a tree?is it the white milk pleatedcollar of the womansmiling toward the ...

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Harriet by Lucille Clifton

Harriet by Lucille Clifton

harrietif i be youlet me not forgetto be the pistolpointedto be the madwomanat the rivers edgewarningbe free or dieand isabellif i be youlet me in mysojourningnot forgetto ask my ...

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Listen Children by Lucille Clifton

Listen Children by Lucille Clifton

listen childrenkeep this in the placeyou have for keepingalwayskeep it all wayswe have never hated blacklistenwe have been ashamedhopeless tired madbut alwaysall wayswe loved uswe ...

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Lorena by Lucille Clifton

Lorena by Lucille Clifton

it lay in my palm soft and trembledas a new bird and i thought aboutauthority and how it always insistedon itself, how it was masterof the man, how it measured him, neverwas ...

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A Dream Of Foxes by Lucille Clifton

A Dream Of Foxes by Lucille Clifton

foxwhocan blame her for hunkeringinto the doorwells at night,the only blaze in the darkthe brush of her hopeful tail,the only starlighther little bared teeth?and when she is not ...

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My Mama Moved Among The Days by Lucille Clifton

My Mama Moved Among The Days by Lucille Clifton

My Mama moved among the dayslike a dreamwalker in a field;seemed like what she touched was hereseemed like what touched her couldn't hold,she got us almost through the high ...

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The Times by Lucille Clifton

The Times by Lucille Clifton

it is hard to remain human on a daywhen birds perch weepingin the trees and the squirrel eyesdo not look away but the dog ones doin pity.another child has killed a child and i ...

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Moonchild by Lucille Clifton

Moonchild by Lucille Clifton

whatever slid into my mother's room that late june night, tapping her great belly,summoned me out roundheaded and unsmiling. is this the moon, my father used to grin.cradling me? ...

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There Is A Girl Inside by Lucille Clifton

There Is A Girl Inside by Lucille Clifton

There is a girl inside. She is randy as a wolf. She will not walk away and leave these bones to an old woman.She is a green tree in a forest of kindling. She is a greeen girl in a ...

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Won’T You Celebrate With Me by Lucille Clifton

Won’T You Celebrate With Me by Lucille Clifton

won't you celebrate with mewhat i have shaped intoa kind of life? i had no model.born in babylonboth nonwhite and womanwhat did i see to be except myself?i made it uphere on this ...

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Island Mary by Lucille Clifton

Island Mary by Lucille Clifton

after the all been done and ione old creature carried onanother creature's back, i wondercould i have fought these thing?surrounded by no son of mine saveold men calling Mother ...

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Admonitions by Lucille Clifton

Admonitions by Lucille Clifton

boysi don't promise you nothingbut thiswhat you pawni will redeemwhat you steali will concealmy private silence toyour public guiltis all i gotgirlsfirst time a white manopens his ...

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Wishes For Sons by Lucille Clifton

Wishes For Sons by Lucille Clifton

i wish them cramps.i wish them a strange townand the last tampon.I wish them no 7-11.i wish them one week earlyand wearing a white skirt.i wish them one week late.later i wish ...

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I Am Accused Of Tending To The Past by Lucille Clifton

I Am Accused Of Tending To The Past by Lucille Clifton

i am accused of tending to the pastas if i made it,as if i sculpted itwith my own hands. i did not.this past was waiting for mewhen i came,a monstrous unnamed baby,and i with my ...

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Shapeshifter Poems by Lucille Clifton

Shapeshifter Poems by Lucille Clifton

1the legend is whisperedin the women's tenthow the moon when she risesfullfollows some men into themselvesand changes them therethe season is shortbut dreadful shapeshiftersthey ...

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Poem In Praise Of Menstruation by Lucille Clifton

Poem In Praise Of Menstruation by Lucille Clifton

if there is a river more beautiful than this bright as the blood red edge of the moon if there is a river more faithful than this returning each month to the same delta if thereis ...

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Climbing by Lucille Clifton

Climbing by Lucille Clifton

a woman precedes me up the long rope.her dangling braids the color of rain.maybe i should have had braids.maybe i should have kept the body i started,slim and possible as a boy's ...

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Praise Song by Lucille Clifton

Praise Song by Lucille Clifton

to my aunt blanchewho rolled from grass to drivewayinto the street one sunday morning.i was ten. i had never seena human woman hurl her basketballof a body into the traffic ...

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It Was A Dream by Lucille Clifton

It Was A Dream by Lucille Clifton

in which my greater selfrose up before meaccusing me of my lifewith her extra fingerwhirling in a gyre of rageat what my days had come to.what, i pleaded with her, could i do,oh ...

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blessing the boats by Lucille Clifton

blessing the boats by Lucille Clifton

(at St. Mary's)may the tidethat is entering even nowthe lip of our understandingcarry you outbeyond the face of fearmay you kissthe wind then turn from itcertain that it willlove ...

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Poem to My Uterus by Lucille Clifton

Poem to My Uterus by Lucille Clifton

You uterusyou have been patientas a sockwhile i have slippered into youmy dead and living childrennowthey want to cut you outstocking i will not needwhere i am goingwhere am i ...

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4/30/92 for rodney king by Lucille Clifton

4/30/92 for rodney king by Lucille Clifton

sothe bodyof one black manis rag and stoneis mudand bloodthe body of oneblack mancontains no lifeworth lovingso the bodyof one black manis nobodymamamamamamacitais there no ...

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Here Rests by Lucille Clifton

Here Rests by Lucille Clifton

my sister Josephineborn july in ‘29and dead these 15 yearswho carried a bookon every stroll.when daddy was dyingshe left the streetsand moved back hometo tend him.her pimp came ...

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The Mississippi River Empties Into The Gulf by Lucille Clifton

The Mississippi River Empties Into The Gulf by Lucille Clifton

and the gulf enters the sea and so forth,none of them emptying anything,all of them carrying yesterdayforever on their white tipped backs,all of them dragging forward tomorrow.it ...

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The Lost Women by Lucille Clifton

The Lost Women by Lucille Clifton

i need to know their namesthose women i would have walked withjauntily the way men go in groupsswinging their arms, and the onesthose sweating women whom i would have joinedafter ...

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Song At Midnight by Lucille Clifton

Song At Midnight by Lucille Clifton

…do not send me outamong strangersSonia Sanchezbrothers,this big womancarries much sweetnessin the folds of her flesh.her hairis white with wonderful.she isrounder than the ...

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She Understands Me by Lucille Clifton

She Understands Me by Lucille Clifton

it is all blood and breaking,blood and breaking, the thingdrops out of its box squallinginto the light. they are both squalling,animal and cage. her bars lie wet, openand empty ...

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Seeker Of Visions by Lucille Clifton

Seeker Of Visions by Lucille Clifton

what does this mean.to see walking menwrapped in the color of death,to hear from their tonguesuch difficult syllables?are they the spiritsof our hopeor the pale ghosts of our ...

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Telling Our Stories by Lucille Clifton

Telling Our Stories by Lucille Clifton

the fox came every evening to my doorasking for nothing. my feartrapped me inside, hoping to dismiss herbut she sat till morning, waiting.at dawn we would, each of us,rise frm our ...

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