sisters

By Lucille Clifton 1936–2010 Lucille Clifton

for elaine philip on her birthday

me and you be sisters.
we be the same.
me and you
coming from the same place.
me and you
be greasing our legs
touching up our edges.
me and you
be scared of rats
be stepping on roaches.
me and you
come running high down purdy street one time
and mama laugh and shake her head at
me and you.
me and you
got babies
got thirty-five
got black
let our hair go back
be loving ourselves
be loving ourselves
be sisters.
only where you sing
i poet.

Lucille Clifton, "sisters" from The Collected Poems of Lucille Clifton. Copyright © 1987 by Lucille Clifton.  Reprinted by permission of BOA Editions, Ltd. 

Source: Good Woman: Poems and a Memoir (BOA Editions Ltd., 1980)

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Poet Lucille Clifton 1936–2010

Subjects Living, Coming of Age, Relationships, Friends & Enemies, Social Commentaries, Gender & Sexuality

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 Living, Coming of Age, Relationships, Friends & Enemies, Social Commentaries, Gender & Sexuality

Poetic Terms Free Verse

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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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