"oh antic God"

By Lucille Clifton 1936–2010 Lucille Clifton
oh antic God
return to me
my mother in her thirties   
leaned across the front porch   
the huge pillow of her breasts   
pressing against the rail
summoning me in for bed.

I am almost the dead woman’s age times two.

I can barely recall her song
the scent of her hands
though her wild hair scratches my dreams   
at night.   return to me, oh Lord of then   
and now, my mother’s calling,
her young voice humming my name.

Lucille Clifton, “ ‘oh antic God’ ” from Mercy. Copyright © 2004 by Lucille Clifton. Reprinted with the permission of BOA Editions Ltd., www.boaeditions.org.

Source: Mercy (2004)

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Poet Lucille Clifton 1936–2010

Subjects Family & Ancestors, Living, Growing Old, Time & Brevity, Relationships, Sorrow & Grieving

Occasions Funerals

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 Family & Ancestors, Living, Growing Old, Time & Brevity, Relationships, Sorrow & Grieving

Poetic Terms Free Verse

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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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