have we not been good children / did we not inherit the earth

Posted on 02/21/2011

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1994

by Lucille Clifton

 I was leaving my fifty-eighth year

when a thumb of ice

stamped itself hard near my heart /

you have your own story

you know about the fears the tears

 the scar of disbelief /

you know that the saddest lies

are the ones we tell ourselves /

you know how dangerous it is

to be born with breasts /

you know how dangerous it is

to wear dark skin /

i was leaving my fifty-eighth year

when i woke into the winter

of a cold and mortal body /

thin icicles hanging off

 the one mad nipple weeping /

have we not been good children

 did we not inherit the earth /

but you must know all about this

from your own shivering life /

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Posted in: Haiti, Life