Lucille Clifton

sixteen years
by the white of my hair
by my wide bones
by the life that ran out of me
into life,
sixteen years
and the girl is gone
with her two good eyes;
she was always hoping something,
she was afraid of everything.
little is left of her who hid
behind bread and babies
only something thin and
bright as a flame,
it has no language it can speak
without burning
it has no other house to run to
it loves you loves you loves you.

Last updated December 20, 2022