Tuesday, April 12, 2011

daughters - Lucille Clifton

woman who shines at the head
of my grandmother's bed,
brilliant woman, i like to think
you whispred into her ear
instructions. i like to think
you are the oddness in us,
you are the arrow
that pierced our plain skin
and made us fancy women;
my wild witch gran, my magic mama,
and even these gaudy girls.
i like to thnk you gave us
extraordinary power and to
protect us, you became the name
we were cautioned to forget.
it is enough,
you must have murmered,
to remember that i was
and that you are. woman, i am
lucille, which stands for light,
daughter of thelma, daughter
of georgia, daughter of
dazzling you.

Lucille Clifton (1936-2010) has two Pulitzer Prize nominations among her many honors. In 1999 she was elected Chancellor of the American Academy of Poets. Her poems eschew intellectual pretension in favor of a direct communication that still connects the reader to deeper realities.


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