the earth is a living thing
is a black shambling bear ruffling its wild back and tossing mountains into the sea is a black hawk circling the burying ground circling the bones picked clean and discarded is a fish black blind in the belly of water is a diamond blind in the black belly of coal is a black and living thing is a favorite child of the universe feel her rolling her hand in its kinky hair feel her brushing it clean
Lucille Clifton, "the earth is a living thing" from Collected Poems of Lucille Clifton. Copyright © 1991 by Lucille Clifton. Reprinted with the permission of The Permissions Company, Inc., on behalf of BOA Editions, Ltd., boaeditions.org.
Lucille Clifton, the author of Blessing the Boats: New and Selected Poems 1988–2000 (BOA Editions, 2000), which won the National Book Award, was elected a Chancellor of the Academy of American Poets in 1999.
Date Published: 1991-01-01
Source URL: https://poets.org/poem/earth-living-thing