It’s Thursday which means a quick post about something that I enjoy. Today it’s the poetry of Lucille Clifton. In 1994, I was 14 and about a dozen years away from being able to understand this poem. Unable to comprehend the “the thumb of ice” that starts with finding a lump where there shouldn’t be one. But, that is a story from my own shivering life and for another time. Here is Lucille’s 1994:

1994

i was leaving my fifty-eighth year
when a thumb of ice
stamped itself hard near my heart

you have your own story
you know about the fears the tears
the scar of disbelief

you know that the saddest lies
are the ones we tell ourselves
you know how dangerous it is

to be born with breasts
you know how dangerous it is
to wear dark skin

i was leaving my fifty-eighth year
when i woke into the winter
of a cold and mortal body

thin icicles hanging off
the one mad nipple weeping

have we not been good children
did we not inherit the earth

but you must know all about this
from your own shivering life

3 Comment on “One Should At Least: Lucille Clifton

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