Skip to content →

The Illusion of Hips

after Lucille Clifton

Caught in the angle of sun & slight breeze, her skirt, melon, balloons. This, she says, is for the illusion of hips, but she needs nothing to make her more. Petal & stem, hair like a crown of baby’s breath falling to her shoulders, sweet rain. Born in Buffalo, she studied @ the same high school as Ms. Lucille, which tells me she could be a poet by osmosis, a good one even (something in the water). Please forgive me, I am trying to describe beauty, inner & outer, & isn’t that always the trouble: the risk of walking in stale words? I am trying not to be that poet, I am trying to impart honor, & I will be successful when I mention that after talking about the hips she doesn’t have, she smiles like a new world, & you nod your head know exactly what I mean.

from dying in the scarecrow’s armsFind it in the library

Copyright © Persea Books 2018
Used with the permission of The Permissions Company, Inc.
on behalf of Persea Books.

Published in Mitchel L.H. Douglas Poems

This program is supported in part by a grant from the Idaho Humanities Council, a State-based program of the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Any views, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this (publication, website, exhibit, etc.) do not necessarily represent those of the Idaho Humanities Council or the National Endowment for the Humanities.