Poem of the Week, by Lucille Clifton
On the surface there’s little in common between Lucille Clifton and me besides the fact that we both grew up in far upstate New York (which, as all upstaters know, is in fact a deep and powerful bond). But ever since I read The Lost Baby Poem in my early twenties, a poem that filled me with so much sorrow and pain and understanding that it felt as if I were somehow embedded in it, she has been a kindred spirit.
She writes an homage to her big hips that makes me want to shake my skinny ones. She writes about her cancer diagnosis and my hands cover my breasts. She writes what did i see to be except myself and that, too, I feel in my bones.
Won’t You Celebrate With Me, by Lucille Clifton
won’t you celebrate with me
what i have shaped into
a kind of life? i had no model.
born in babylon
both nonwhite and woman
what did i see to be except myself?
i made it up
here on this bridge between
starshine and clay,
my one hand holding tight
my other hand; come celebrate
with me that everyday
something has tried to kill me
and has failed.