oh antic God
return to me
my mother in her thirties   
leaned across the front porch   
the huge pillow of her breasts   
pressing against the rail
summoning me in for bed.

I am almost the dead woman’s age times two.

I can barely recall her song
the scent of her hands
though her wild hair scratches my dreams   
at night.   return to me, oh Lord of then   
and now, my mother’s calling,
her young voice humming my name.

  • Lucille Clifton, “ ‘oh antic God’ ” from Mercy. Copyright © 2004 by Lucille Clifton. Reprinted with the permission of BOA Editions Ltd., www.boaeditions.org.

  • Source: Mercy (2004)

Poet Bio

What People are Saying

"I've had the opportunity to meet students and teachers across Montana who share a love for the arts. Poetry Out Loud fosters a connection between all who participate. I've made connections with peers and mentors that will last for years to come."
Savannah Smith
2016 MT POL Champion