52 Poems: Weeks 33 and 34 Lucille Clifton

God, I love Lucille Clifton. Her lines are short and her poems are brief, but the references she makes to the strength of women raise me up. She makes me want to live, remember, and write better.  I needed a lift this week and Ms. Clifton provided that. Hopefully she will lift you up as well...

By Lucille Clifton
if i be you
let me not forget
to be the pistol
to be the madwoman
at the rivers edge
be free or die
and isabell
if i be you
let me in my
not forget
to ask my brothers
ain't i a woman too
if i be you
let me not forget to
work hard
trust the Gods
love my children and

By Lucille Clifton

ask me to tell how it feels
remembering your mother's face
turned to water under the white words
of the man at the shoe store. ask me,
though she tells it better than i do,
not because of her charm
but because it never happened
she says,
no bully salesman swaggering,
no rage, no shame, none of it
ever happened.
i only remember buying you
your first grown up shoes
she smiles. ask me
how it feels.

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