Poem of the Week, by lucille clifton

The ongoing focus of my fabulous church for the non-churchy is racial justice, and the service this morning was particularly fabulous. We started out dancing in the pews to Pharrell Williams, we listened to the words of two of my favorite Nina Simone songs, we read a little Thoreau and Frederick Douglass and we all left laughing and full of energy. Halfway through the last song, some of my favorite lines from lucille clifton came ghosting into my head, including the last lines of this particular poem, so here you go.

The Lost Baby Poem
– lucille clifton

the time i dropped your almost body down
down to meet the waters under the city
and run one with the sewage to the sea
what did i know about waters rushing back
what did i know about drowning
or being drowned

you would have been born into winter
in the year of the disconnected gas
and no car     we would have made the thin
walk over genesee hill into the canada wind
to watch you slip like ice into strangers’ hands
you would have fallen naked as snow into winter
if you were here i could tell you these
and some other things

if i am ever less than a mountain
for your definite brothers and sisters
let the rivers pour over my head
let the sea take me for a spiller
of seas    let black men call me a stranger
always     for your never named sake

– for more information on lucille clifton (she spelled her name lower case), please click here.

– ​My blog: alisonmcghee.com/blog

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