A Discussion of a Selection of Poems from Lucille Clifton’s Good Woman

Naima Nur, of Sun Song, joined the SBG Book Club to read and discuss a selection of poems from Lucille Clifton’s book of poetry entitled, Good Woman. Poetry is an important part of the literary canon, that can inspire us when we’re in a rut.

The following poems by Lucille Clifton were read and discussed:

those boys that ran together

those boys that ran together
at Tillman’s
and the poolroom
everybody see them now
think it’s a shame

everybody see them now
remember they was fine boys

we have some fine black boys

don’t it make you want to cry?

the meeting after the savior gone

what we decided is
you save your own self
everybody so quiet.
not so much sorry as resigned.
we was going to try and save you but
now i guess you got to save yourselves
(even if you don’t know
who you are
where you been
where headed

for deLawd

people say they have a hard time
understanding how i
go on about my business
playing my ray charles
hollering at the kids-
seem like my afro
cut off in some old image
would show i got a long memory
and i come from a line
of black and going on women
who got used to making it through murdered sons
and who grief kept on pushing
who fried chicken
ironed
swept of the back steps
who grief kept
for their still alive sons
for their song coming
for their sons gone
just pushing

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