Saturday, November 28, 2009

An Open Window

Cloudy day. An open window.
I didn't want to catalog
the dead We missed each other
There was no shelter

in the burning gardens
all the browned roses, heavy
dahlias, scentless afternoons.
I did the best I could

child's hand in my own
a twisting fire. Heart
I have been pulling free for so long
wishing only the air pillowed

my plunging body
but small things keep me
faithful, earth
& my restless children, pure as knives

each one sucking a thin milk, love
& suicide, those fair heads cradled
against my scars &
all this world's howls battering

the doors. Pain is the simple geography.
As for me, I too sucked grief down
with my mother's milk
Loss was the gleaming legacy

goodbye the witch's charm, &
my innocent refugees
here I pass it on.

(no, it's no really finished or without flaws, and it is a poem from the time of the Possessions one--well, maybe a bit less old than that. Another grappling with life and death and love and obligation and what one hands on. That was a hard year.)


At March 23, 2010 12:57 PM , Anonymous marly youmans said...

As in "goodbye was"?

Not sure I'm reading it right...

Children as knives, sucking a thin milk. Even without the word "suicide," Plath is brooding somewhere not too far off.

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