the photograph a lynching by wia20667


									                     the photograph: a lynching

                            is it the cut glass
                               of their eyes
                           looking up toward
                        the new gnarled branch
                            of the black man
                         hanging from a tree?

                     is it the white milk pleated
                         collar of the woman
                     smiling toward the camera,
                       her fingers loose around
                      a christian cross drooping
                          against her breast?

                            is it all of us
                     captured by history into an
                     accurate album? will we be
                     required to view it together
                       under a gathering sky?

                                    -Lucille Clifton

From BLESSING THE BOATS: NEW & SELECTED POEMS 1988-2000 (BOA Editions, 2000)

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