Anne Sexton

(9 November 1928 – 4 October 1974 / Newton, Massachusetts)

End, Middle, Beginning


There was an unwanted child.
Aborted by three modern methods
she hung on to the womb,
hooked onto I
building her house into it
and it was to no avail,
to black her out.

At her birth
she did not cry,
spanked indeed,
but did not yell-
instead snow fell out of her mouth.

As she grew, year by year,
her hair turned like a rose in a vase,
and bled down her face.
Rocks were placed on her to keep
the growing silent,
and though they bruised,
they did not kill,
though kill was tangled into her beginning.

They locked her in a football
but she merely curled up
and pretended it was a warm doll's house.
They pushed insects in to bite her off
and she let them crawl into her eyes
pretending they were a puppet show.

Later, later,
grown fully, as they say,
they gave her a ring,
and she wore it like a root
and said to herself,
'To be not loved is the human condition,'
and lay like a stature in her bed.

Then once,
by terrible chance,
love took her in his big boat
and she shoveled the ocean
in a scalding joy.

Then,
slowly,
love seeped away,
the boat turned into paper
and she knew her fate,
at last.
Turn where you belong,
into a deaf mute
that metal house,
let him drill you into no one.

Submitted: Monday, March 29, 2010

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