my dream about being white

By Lucille Clifton 1936–2010 Lucille Clifton
hey music and
me
only white,
hair a flutter of
fall leaves
circling my perfect   
line of a nose,
no lips,
no behind, hey
white me
and i’m wearing
white history
but there’s no future   
in those clothes
so i take them off and   
wake up
dancing.

Lucille Clifton, “my dream about being white” from Next. Copyright © 1987 by Lucille Clifton. Reprinted with the permission of BOA Editions Ltd., www.boaeditions.org.

Source: Next (1987)

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Poet Lucille Clifton 1936–2010

Subjects Social Commentaries, Race & Ethnicity

Poetic Terms Free Verse

 Lucille  Clifton

Biography

A prolific and widely respected poet, Lucille Clifton's work emphasizes endurance and strength through adversity, focusing particularly on African-American experience and family life. Awarding the prestigious Ruth Lilly Poetry Prize to Clifton in 2007, the judges remarked that “One always feels the looming humaneness around Lucille Clifton’s poems—it is a moral quality that some poets have and some don’t.” In addition to the . . .

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SUBJECT Social Commentaries, Race & Ethnicity

Poetic Terms Free Verse

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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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