Saturday, April 07, 2007


Lucille Clifton: Worth a Birth-day or Twelve

My darlin', when asked what she wanted to do for her birthday this year, had only one requirement: she wanted to go to see and hear Lucille Clifton read.

I am the luckiest of spouses. You can build on a request like that. We repaired to the auditorium at Dartmouth where Lucille was reading, meeting our friends Jacqueline and Sydney there. I'd given Jacq. a few of her poems as an introduction.

They weren't disappointed. Lucille was warm, funny, very respectful of the students with whom she'd been working that term. Very whole.

After Oz

midnight we slip into her room
and fill her pockets with stones
so that she is weighted down
so that storms cannot move her

she disappears for hours
then staggers back smelling of straw
of animal

perhaps we have lost her
perhaps home is no longer comfort
or comfort no longer home

evenings we sit awake
in our disenchanted kitchen
listening to the dog whine
to dorothy clicking her heels

You're inspiring me Lulu.
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