won’t you celebrate with me

“Born in Babylon,” Clifton says, and though no one else was born Lucille Clifton, most all of us were born in the belly of a beast that wanted to rob us of something – body, land, money, family, soul. The costs are different, but everybody’s gotta pay. Why not celebrate, then, when we have hung on to our lives, our souls, our connections for one more day?

won’t you celebrate with me
by Lucille Clifton

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 other hand; come celebrate
with me that everyday
something has tried to kill me
and has failed.

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