Yesterday we look at WB Yeats’ “The Second Coming,” an imagined view of what the end of the world from the perspective of one just leaving the horrors of World War I. Today we’re going to take a look at a much more intimate view of that same event.
Lucille Clifton, much like Dickinson or Whitman, has the ability to take a seemingly simply moment and fill it full of some of the most complex ideas. Her “dream” is no exception, presenting a single scene yet evoking enough of the world’s strangeness to create a fascinating piece of work. It’s one that taps into that dreamlike sense the title suggests while ending with a sense of dread even Yeats would be impressed with.
my dream about the second coming
mary is an old woman without shoes.she doesn’t believe it.not when her belly starts to bubbleand leave the print of a finger whereno man touches.not when the snow in her hair melts away.not when the stranger she used to wait forappears dressed in lights at herkitchen table.she is an old woman anddoesn’t believe it.
when Something drops onto her toes one nightshe calls it a foxbut she feeds it.
Curious to see all of April’s fine poems? Check out the original National Poetry Month to see an update list!