poet Lucille Clifton

Lucille Clifton

#159 on top 500 poets

Shapeshifter Poems

1

the legend is whispered
in the women's tent
how the moon when she rises
full
follows some men into themselves
and changes them there
the season is short
but dreadful shapeshifters
they wear strange hands
they walk through the houses
at night their daughters
do not know them

2

who is there to protect her
from the hands of the father
not the windows which see and
say nothing not the moon
that awful eye not the woman
she will become with her
scarred tongue who who who the owl
laments into the evening who
will protect her this prettylittlegirl

3

if the little girl lies
still enough
shut enough
hard enough
shapeshifter may not
walk tonight
the full moon may not
find him here
the hair on him
bristling
rising
up

4

the poem at the end of the world
is the poem the little girl breathes
into her pillow the one
she cannot tell the one
there is no one to hear this poem
is a political poem is a war poem is a
universal poem but is not about
these things this poem
is about one human heart this poem
is the poem at the end of the world

Poem Submitted: Friday, January 3, 2003

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Comments about Shapeshifter Poems by Lucille Clifton

  • Ratnakar Mandlik (5/4/2019 11:53:00 PM)

    " This poem is about a human heart

    This poem is the poem at the end of the world." Fantastic inference.

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  • Dutendra ChamlingDutendra Chamling (10/28/2015 4:38:00 AM)

    ...they walk through the houses
    at night their daughters
    do not know them...
    TELLS the best itself.

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  • Colleen Courtney (5/15/2014 12:11:00 PM)

    Such a wonderfully powerful write! A great tale told through this amazing poem.

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    2 person liked.
    1 person did not like.

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3,5 out of 5
20 total ratings
rate this poem



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Read poems about / on: poem, girl, moon, women, war, woman, father, hair, world, night, heart, house, change, daughter, rose