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share 43 fabulous poems (read all 57 entries…)
"The Thirty-Eighth Year" by Lucille Clifton

the thirty eigth year
of my life,
plain as bread
round as a cake
an ordinary woman.

an ordinary woman.

i had expected to be
smaller than this,
more beautiful,
wiser in Afrikan ways,
more confident,
i had expected
more than this.

i will be forty soon.
my mother once was forty.

my mother died at forty four,
a woman of sad countenance
leaving behind a girl
awkward as a stork.
my mother was thick,
her hair was a jungle and
she was very wise
and beautiful
and sad.

i have dreamed dreams
for you mama
more than once.
i have wrapped me
in your skin
and made you live again
more than once.
i have taken the bones you hardened
and built daughters
and they blossom and promise fruit
like afrikan trees.
i am a woman now.
an ordinary woman.

in the thirty eighth
year of my life,
surrounded by life,
a perfect picture of
blackness blessed,
i had not expected this
loneliness.

if it is western,
if it is the final
europe in my mind,
if in the middle of my life
i am turning the final turn
into the shining dark
let me come to it whole
and holy
not afraid
not lonely
out of mother’s life
into my own.
into my own.

i had expected more than this.
i had not expected to be
an ordinary woman.



Comments:

Iron Man is one busy hombre

Lucille Clifton?

maybe

Rouenpucelle and other enquiring minds want to know.

nopers.

Iron Man is one busy hombre

Then I have some serious reading to do

then

Rouenpucelle and other enquiring minds want to know.

did you

give up?

Iron Man is one busy hombre

I need

another hint please.

Rouenpucelle and other enquiring minds want to know.

hmm.

it doesn’t rhyme.


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