wishes for sons

By Lucille Clifton 1936–2010 Lucille Clifton
i wish them cramps.
i wish them a strange town
and the last tampon.
i wish them no 7-11.

i wish them one week early
and wearing a white skirt.
i wish them one week late.

later i wish them hot flashes
and clots like you
wouldn't believe.    let the
flashes come when they
meet someone special.
let the clots come
when they want to.

let them think they have accepted
arrogance in the universe,
then bring them to gynecologists
not unlike themselves.

Lucille Clifton, "wishes for sons" from Next: New Poems. Copyright © 1987 by Lucille Clifton. Reprinted with the permission of BOA Editions, Ltd.

Source: Next: New Poems (BOA Editions Ltd., 1987)

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Poet Lucille Clifton 1936–2010

Subjects Social Commentaries, The Body, Nature, Gender & Sexuality, Home Life, Relationships

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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Poem Categorization

SUBJECT Social Commentaries, The Body, Nature, Gender & Sexuality, Home Life, Relationships

Poetic Terms Free Verse

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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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