Wednesday, January 7, 2009
Upon Discovering Sylvia Plath
(upon discovering Sylvia Plath)
I was a mere spring and half a summer away from
being flesh myself the day you laid out bread and milk
and sealed off your kitchen to inhale your final solution.
I didn’t even realize until my coffee chat with Bridget
the other day that you lived and died a full hundred
years later than I waywardly assumed you had.
Surely poets didn’t suicide themselves in 1963?
1863 – 1763 – I could see. But 1963?
Yet you did.
And I wonder was your life
like a grasshopper’s on a
windshield at sixty mph,
like an uprooted sapling’s who
can’t speak the foreign tongue
of discontinued seasons?
Hanging on for dear life
from the rafters of childhood,
from the meat hooks of love,
from the blackness of red tulips,
who knows what night you knew?
Ah, gone lady, had we been girls
of beach summers and winter woods
together, I would’ve shown you how to
laugh and wear your hat like starshine,
how to skip the flattest round stones
and joke about moons over tea,
every day a small miracle hanging
like children in park swings,
like bras in happy trees.