Former Maryland poet laureate Lucille Clifton has died. This poem seems a perfect way to pause and raise my tea mug to her. I met her briefly in Columbia, Maryland and I was moved, not just by her poetry and narrative style, but by the use of Lucille’s dramatic training in her delivery of each poem. I picture her bringing this one up from the belly:

won’t you celebrate with me

won’t you celebrate with me
what i have shaped into
a kind of life? i had no model.
born in babylon
both nonwhite and woman
what did i see to be except myself?
i made it up
here on this bridge between
starshine and clay,
my one hand holding tight
my one hand; come celebrate
with me that everyday
something has tried to kill me
and has failed.

–Lucille Clifton

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