Learn More

Lucille Clifton

(June 27, 1936 - February 13, 2010 / Baltimore, Maryland)

memory


ask me to tell how it feels
remembering your mother's face
turned to water under the white words
of the man at the shoe store. ask me,
though she tells it better than i do,
not because of her charm
but because it never happened
she says,
no bully salesman swaggering,
no rage, no shame, none of it
ever happened.
i only remember buying you
your first grown up shoes
she smiles. ask me
how it feels.

Submitted: Friday, January 03, 2003

Do you like this poem?
5 person liked.
0 person did not like.

Read poems about / on: remember, mother, water, memory, smile

Read this poem in other languages

This poem has not been translated into any other language yet.

I would like to translate this poem »

word flags

What do you think this poem is about?

Comments about this poem (memory by Lucille Clifton )

Enter the verification code :

  • Rookie - 0 Points Colleen Courtney (5/15/2014 11:58:00 AM)

    Such a beautifully told tale of a mother protecting her child from the meanness and csllousness of ignorant others. Simply gorgeous poem and adding to my favorites. (Report) Reply

  • Rookie Anna Russell (12/20/2006 4:00:00 PM)

    This poem takes my breath away. Such a gentle, subtle way of pointing out the injustices forced upon innocent people by the isms of others. She could have gone into full detail about the horrific things being said, but instead what shines out of this poem is a mother's love for her child and need to protect her. In the face of such ignorance, Clifton shows us humanity. For me, this is up there with 'If you prick us do we not bleed...'. Don't let the simplicity of the writing fool you - this poem matters.
    Hugs
    Anna xxx (Report) Reply

Read all 2 comments »

Trending Poets

Trending Poems

  1. If, Rudyard Kipling
  2. The Road Not Taken, Robert Frost
  3. Dreams, Langston Hughes
  4. A Child's Christmas in Wales, Dylan Thomas
  5. And Death Shall Have No Dominion, Dylan Thomas
  6. No Man Is An Island, John Donne
  7. I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
  8. Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night, Dylan Thomas
  9. A Dream Within A Dream, Edgar Allan Poe
  10. O Captain! My Captain!, Walt Whitman

Poem of the Day

poet Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

I heard the bells on Christmas day
Their old familiar carols play,
And wild and sweet the words repeat
Of peace on earth, good will to men.

...... Read complete »

   

New Poems

  1. Candid Clichés, Ugggh!, Frank James Ryan Jr...FjR
  2. Saturday's Sultry Soho Spinster {Alliter.., Frank James Ryan Jr...FjR
  3. Beyond Emerald City..., Frank James Ryan Jr...FjR
  4. Patience, Michael P. McParland
  5. Out Of The Dark, Michael P. McParland
  6. The war inside me, Lubinda Lubinda
  7. Our Night 2, Michael P. McParland
  8. Our Night, Michael P. McParland
  9. OSU Force, Michael P. McParland
  10. Imagine, The Astronomer
[Hata Bildir]