All poems from Good Woman: poems and a memoir 1969-1980 by Lucille Clifton. Published by  Boa Edition, Limited.  Softcover.

“the poet” on page 142.

i beg my bones to be good but
they keep clicking music and
i spin in the center of myself
a foolish frightful woman
moving my skin against the wind and
tap dancing for my life.

From “Admonitions” on page 51.

when they ask you
why is your mama so funny
she is a poet
she don’t have no sense

“The Making of Poems” on page 186.

the reason why i do it
though i fail and fail
in the giving of true names
is i am adam and his mother
and these failures are my job.

“leanna’s poem” for leanna webster on page 113.