Miss Rosie

Clifton, Lucille

Primary Category: Literature / Poetry
Secondary Category: Literature / Poetry

Genre: Poem

Annotated by:
Nixon, Lois LaCivita
  • Date of entry: Apr-17-2001
  • Last revised: Sep-01-2006


Miss Rosie is homeless, a street person surrounded by her foul-smelling possessions. She is not a stranger to the narrator, who has thought long and hard about her present circumstances and how she might have been long ago before she became a familiar sight in the neighborhood. Now reduced to rags, this "wet brown bag of a woman," says the narrator, once was "the best looking gal in Georgia." The narrator "stand[s] up" for her through her "destruction."


It is easier to look beyond the Miss Rosies of the street, to ignore their presence. This narrator either imagines a past or knows her origins. What is important is that Miss Rosie is recognized by the narrator and provided with a story. She is important, human, and worth our attention.

Primary Source

Good Times


Random House

Place Published

New York



Secondary Source

Good Times