One of my lights has gone out.

Her voice has sung in my heart for years.  Discovering her was a revelation, an awakening.  There are few writers who speak to me as powerfully.  Every line she wrote, every image, every silence.  And now she is gone.


listen children

listen children
keep this in the place
you have for keeping
keep it all ways

we have never hated black

we have been ashamed
hopeless tired mad
but always
all ways
we loved us

we have always loved each other
children all ways

pass it on

*     *     *


won’t you celebrate with me?

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 one hand; come celebrate
with me that everyday
something has tried to kill me
and has failed.


— Lucille Clifton, 1936 – 2010


You can read about her at the Poetry Foundation page.


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