Thursday, February 05, 2009

Black Things I Love #3: Lucille Clifton's Homage to My Hips

To say that I weigh more now than I did when I was in college is a laughable understatement. That's me in the picture above. I'm probably 20 or 21 there (though I look 12; how much bigger could my head have gotten?) Since then I've had two kids and embarked on a fairly sedentary career. I used to run. Throughout grad school I was almost always enrolled in a dance class. Brian and I used to hike when we lived in Washington. (We went hiking for our honeymoon on the lovely Whidbey Island.) But life takes its toll and it seems to have taken its greatest toll on my hips.

Now many is the day when I'm perfectly fine with the body I travel the world in. But on those days that I'm not, I pull out this poem and I feel a little better.

homage to my hips
these hips are big hips.
they need space to
move around in.
they don't fit into little
petty places. these hips
are free hips.
they don't like to be held back.
these hips have never been enslaved,
they go where they want to go
they do what they want to do.
these hips are mighty hips.
these hips are magic hips.
i have known them
to put a spell on a man and
spin him like a top


Alison said...

I love that poem, too. And look how cute and nerdy you were!

Another Chance to Get It Right said...

One of my favorite poems. I once wrote an homage to Lucille Clifton, because this poem was the first thing I ever read that made me think, "Yeah, ok. These hips ARE pretty nifty."