Moonchild

Poem By Lucille Clifton

whatever slid into my mother's room that
late june night, tapping her great belly,
summoned me out roundheaded and unsmiling.
is this the moon, my father used to grin.
cradling me? it was the moon
but nobody knew it then.

the moon understands dark places.
the moon has secrets of her own.
she holds what light she can.

we girls were ten years old and giggling
in our hand-me-downs. we wanted breasts,
pretended that we had them, tissued
our undershirts. jay johnson is teaching
me to french kiss, ella bragged, who
is teaching you? how do you say; my father?

the moon is queen of everything.
she rules the oceans, rivers, rain.
when I am asked whose tears these are
I always blame the moon.

Comments about Moonchild

bland poem 3/10
the moon understands dark places. the moon has secrets of her own. ———— Girlhood experience revealed in the background of the moon.. Terrific.
the moon is queen of everything. she rules the oceans, rivers, rain. when I am asked whose tears these are I always blame the moon........beautiful expression with nice theme. Brilliant write.
A powerful, biting work that explores how children find refuge from horrors over which they have no control. To be able to project our pain onto something distant and objective in order to survive the painful reality of that which is close and familiar. Terrific writing; necessarily horrible subject.
The moon understands dark places! ! Thanks for sharing this poem with us.


Rating Card

3,5 out of 5
29 total ratings

Other poems of CLIFTON

Homage To My Hips

these hips are big hips.
they need space to
move around in.
they don't fit into little

I Am Accused Of Tending To The Past

i am accused of tending to the past
as if i made it,
as if i sculpted it
with my own hands. i did not.

Miss Rosie

when I watch you
wrapped up like garbage
sitting, surrounded by the smell
of too old potato peels

Good Times

my daddy has paid the rent
and the insurance man is gone
and the lights is back on
and my uncle brud has hit

Poem In Praise Of Menstruation

if there is a river
more beautiful than this
bright as the blood
red edge of the moon if

Lorena

it lay in my palm soft and trembled
as a new bird and i thought about
authority and how it always insisted
on itself, how it was master