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From: Callaloo
Volume 27, Number 3, Summer 2004
p. 649 | 10.1353/cal.2004.0103

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Callaloo 27.3 (2004) 649

Lucille Clifton

midnight we slip into her room
and fill her pockets with stones
so that she is weighted down
so that storms cannot move her

she disappears for hours
then staggers back smelling of straw
of animal

perhaps we have lost her
perhaps home is no longer comfort
or comfort no longer home

evenings we sit awake in
our disenchanted kitchen
listening to the dog whine
to dorothy clicking her heels
Reprinted from Mercy (Boa Editions, 2004) by permission of the author.
Lucille Clifton, Poet Laureate of the State of Maryland (1975-85), was recently awarded the National Book Award for her Blessing the Boats (2000). For her numerous books of poetry she has received many fellowships and awards, including the Shelly Memorial Prize, a Charity Randall Citation, an Emmy Award from the American Academy of Television Arts and Sciences, a selection as Literary Lion by the New York Public Library, a Lannan Achievement Award in Poetry, and the 1999 Lila Wallace-Readers Digest Writers Award. She serves on the board of Chancellors of the Academy of American Poets and was recently elected as a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts. Her poetry collection, The Terrible Stories, was a finalist for the National Book Award, the Lenore Marshall Prize and the Los Angeles Times Book Award.


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