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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Lucille Clifton
Lucille Clifton
Lucille Clifton was born in Depew, New York, on June 27, 1936....
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FURTHER READING
Poems about Identity
A Legacy
by Prageeta Sharma
Black Laws
by Roger Reeves
Dream In Which I Meet Myself
by Lynn Emanuel
Escape
by Elinor Wylie
For Crying Out Loud
by Terrance Hayes
Happy first anniversary (in anticipation of your thirty ninth)
by Bob Hicok
Imaginary June
by C. D. Wright
Instructions on Damaging the Monster's Cloak of Invisibility
by Bradley Paul
Mirrors
by Tada Chimako
Mrs. Cavendish and the Dancer
by Stephen Dunn
My Teacup
by Alli Warren
On Anti-Biography
by Will Alexander
On Disappearing
by Major Jackson
Self-portrait as Thousandfurs
by Stacy Gnall
Sympathy
by Edith Franklin Wyatt
The Fare-well Letters [excerpt]
by Evie Shockley
The Purpose of Ritual
by Melissa Broder
Woman in Front of Poster of Herself
by Alice Notley
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mulberry fields

 
by Lucille Clifton

they thought the field was wasting
and so they gathered the marker rocks and stones and
piled them into a barn    they say that the rocks were shaped
some of them scratched with triangles and other forms    they
must have been trying to invent some new language they say
the rocks went to build that wall there guarding the manor and
some few were used for the state house
crops refused to grow
i say the stones marked an old tongue and it was called eternity
and pointed toward the river    i say that after that collection
no pillow in the big house dreamed     i say that somewhere under
here moulders one called alice whose great grandson is old now
too and refuses to talk about slavery    i say that at the
masters table only one plate is set for supper    i say no seed
can flourish on this ground once planted then forsaken    wild
berries warm a field of bones
bloom how you must i say






Lucille Clifton, "mulberry fields" from Collected Poems of Lucille Clifton. Copyright 1991 by Lucille Clifton. Reprinted with the permission of The Permissions Company, Inc., on behalf of BOA Editions, Ltd., boaeditions.org.
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