Live Virtual Group Session: 12pm EST April 15th 2020

Thank you to everyone who joined us for this session! We are so glad to be back and running, and to have so many of you join for this mid-day break (or evening activity – given the exciting range of time zones we had in our session today).

Our text was “Cutting Greens” by Lucille Clifton, posted below. Just as Lucille Clifton does with the greens, we tenderly dissected and embraced our text. Our discussion revolved around the many juxtapositions and connections we found in the poem, as the narrator “builds a connection to the living things that she is holding”, as one participant observed. Together, we looked to the “embrace” and the “kinship” woven into the text, and explored the contrast between the black and the green (“a dance between difference”, one participant observed).  We wondered about the significance of the kitchen setting (“one so mundane, yet it’s used to bring people together, to tie relationships, to mix and add things”, someone else commented). In the last few lines of the poem, many found “a peaceful sense of resolution”, as we experienced – as one of our participants said – “a new beautiful bond through the narrator’s awareness of what is going on”.

Our prompt was: Write about the bond of live things. Participants shared wonderful pieces exploring a range of situations – the tenderness of a caregiver, the importance of giving love to the self, a meditation on watching the world through a window pane, feeling the connection between us all even as we are separated, and an exploration of the idea of the virus as “equalizer,” even as it exposes the inequities in our systems and our communities. 

Participants are warmly encouraged to share what you wrote below (“Leave a Reply”), to keep the conversation going here, bearing in mind that the blog of course is a public space where confidentiality is not assured.

Please join us for our next session: Friday, April 17th at 7pm EST, with more times listed on our Live Virtual Group Sessions page.

We look forward to seeing you again soon!

cutting greens
Lucille Clifton

curling them around
i hold their bodies in obscene embrace
thinking of everything but kinship.
collards and kale
strain against each strange other
away from my kissmaking hand and
the iron bedpot.
the pot is black,
the cutting board is black,
my hand,
and just for a minute
the greens roll black under the knife,
and the kitchen twists dark on its spine
and I taste in my natural appetite
the bond of live things everywhere.

Lucille Clifton, "cutting greens" from The Collected Poems of Lucille Clifton. Copyright © 1987 by Lucille Clifton.