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Joy and Hope and All That: A Tribute to Lucille Clifton

a dream or a fox

After Lucille Clifton


plane landing in berlin, i saw a fox
on the tarmac

beneath the wind, the fuselage,
its eyes barbed like concertina

wire. was it a dream i do not know
and dangerously, i took
it as a sign my ache would end.

it didn’t, but that’s
okay. what would we all give
for moments like that: pure hope

materializing on the bodies
of animals we’ve seen lurching
in those places they don’t belong,

how they refuse to recede,
how they hold on,
proving every human wrong.

Sally Wen Mao

Sally Wen Mao

Sally Wen Mao is the author of Oculus (Graywolf Press 2019) and Mad Honey Symposium (Alice James Books 2014). Her work has won a 2017 Pushcart Prize ...