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Callaloo 24.4 (2001) 970

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In The Mirror

Lucille Clifton

an only breast
leans against her chest wall
mourning       she is suspended
in a sob between t and e and a and r
and the gash ghost of her sister

t and e and a and r

it is pronounced like crying
it is pronounced like
being torn away
it is pronounced like trying to re
member the shape of an unsafe life

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 Shelley Memorial Prize, a Charity Randall Citation, an Emmy Award from the American Academy of Television Arts and Sciences, a selection as a 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 and Sciences. Her poetry collection, The Terrible Stories (1996), was a finalist for the National Book Award, the Lenore Marshall Prize and the Los Angeles Times Book Award.



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