the lost women by Lucille Clifton

i need to know their names
those women i would have walked with
jauntily the way men go in groups
swinging their arms, and the ones
those sweating women whom i would have joined
after a hard game to chew the fat
what would we have called each other laughing
joking into our beer? where are my gangs,
my teams, my mislaid sisters?
all the women who could have known me,
where in the world are their names?

homage to my hips by Lucille Clifton

these hips are big hips
they need space to
move around in.
they don’t fit into little
petty places. these hips
are free hips.
they don’t like to be held back.
these hips have never been enslaved,
they go where they want to go
they do what they want to do.
these hips are mighty hips.
these hips are magic hips.
i have known them
to put a spell on a man and
spin him like a top!

 

generations by Lucille Clifton

people who are going to be
in a few years
at the bottom of trees
bear a responsibility to something
besides people
if it was only
you and me
sharing the consequences
it would be different
it would be just
generations of men
but
this business of war
these war kinds of things
are erasing those natural
obedient generations
whose ignored pride
stood on no hind legs
begged no water
stole no bread
did their own things
and the generations of rice
of coal
of grasshoppers

for their invisibility
denounce us