Anne Sexton

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

And One For My Dame

Poem by Anne Sexton

A born salesman,
my father made all his dough
by selling wool to Fieldcrest, Woolrich and Faribo.

A born talker,
he could sell one hundred wet-down bales
of that white stuff. He could clock the miles and the sales

and make it pay.
At home each sentence he would utter
had first pleased the buyer who'd paid him off in butter.

Each word
had been tried over and over, at any rate,
on the man who was sold by the man who filled my plate.

My father hovered
over the Yorkshire pudding and the beef:
a peddler, a hawker, a merchant and an Indian chief.

Roosevelt! Willkie! and war!
How suddenly gauche I was
with my old-maid heart and my funny teenage applause.

Each night at home
my father was in love with maps
while the radio fought its battles with Nazis and Japs.

Except when he hid
in his bedroom on a three-day drunk,
he typed out complex itineraries, packed his trunk,

his matched luggage
and pocketed a confirmed reservation,
his heart already pushing over the red routes of the nation.

I sit at my desk
each night with no place to go,
opening thee wrinkled maps of Milwaukee and Buffalo,

the whole U.S.,
its cemeteries, its arbitrary time zones,
through routes like small veins, capitals like small stones.

He died on the road,
his heart pushed from neck to back,
his white hanky signaling from the window of the Cadillac.

My husband,
as blue-eyed as a picture book, sells wool:
boxes of card waste, laps and rovings he can pull

to the thread
and say Leicester, Rambouillet, Merino,
a half-blood, it's greasy and thick, yellow as old snow.

And when you drive off, my darling,
Yes, sir! Yes, sir! It's one for my dame,
your sample cases branded with my father's name,

your itinerary open,
its tolls ticking and greedy,
its highways built up like new loves, raw and speedy.


Comments about And One For My Dame by Anne Sexton

  • Ratnakar Mandlik (8/25/2019 10:59:00 PM)

    The great marketing skills and salesmanship of wool merchant glorified by his darling daughter in an amazing style making the poem worth selection as modern poem of the day.(Report)Reply

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  • Anil Kumar PandaAnil Kumar Panda (8/25/2019 10:17:00 AM)

    Beautiful poetry with heart touching story. Enjoyed thoroughly.10+++(Report)Reply

    1 person liked.
    0 person did not like.
  • Luis Estable (8/25/2019 3:45:00 AM)

    This poem tells a story that I am not familiar with. So, I will not come on the merit of it as poetry. But it sounds interesting.(Report)Reply

    1 person liked.
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  • Aniruddha PathakAniruddha Pathak (8/25/2019 1:56:00 AM)

    And when you drive off, my darling,
    Yes, sir! Yes, sir! It's one for my dame,
    your sample cases branded with my father's name, ..
    Filled with humour and irony, a poem well-crafted(Report)Reply

    1 person liked.
    0 person did not like.
  • Ratnakar Mandlik (7/9/2019 11:17:00 PM)

    A great trip down the memory lane and recollection of all remembrances about father and his style of functioning as also traits of his loving adorable persona. Deserved modern poem of the Day.(Report)Reply

    1 person liked.
    0 person did not like.
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  • Sylvia Frances ChanSylvia Frances Chan (7/9/2019 11:06:00 AM)

    And when you drive off, my darling,
    Yes, sir! Yes, sir! It's one for my dame,
    your sample cases branded with my father's name, Mesmerizing poem, sheer Modern Poetry. Absolutely full entertainment with a tinge of irony and melancholy, but a true pleasure this treasure. Amusing read this treat. Congratulations with the Modern Poem Of The Day, to the great family of Anne Sexton. Enjoyed the read so much.(Report)Reply

    2 person liked.
    0 person did not like.
  • Dr Tony BrahminDr Tony Brahmin (7/9/2019 5:49:00 AM)

    Each night at home
    my father was in love with maps
    while the radio fought its battles with Nazis and Japs. HIstory and experiences. a good poem. tony(Report)Reply

    2 person liked.
    0 person did not like.
  • Bernard F. AsuncionBernard F. Asuncion (7/9/2019 2:16:00 AM)

    A well composed poem by Anne Sexton......(Report)Reply

    1 person liked.
    0 person did not like.
  • Adeeb AlfatehAdeeb Alfateh (7/9/2019 1:45:00 AM)

    es, sir! Yes, sir! It's one for my dame,
    your sample cases branded with my father's name,

    excellent write
    great 10++++++++++++++++++++++++++(Report)Reply

    2 person liked.
    0 person did not like.
  • Edward Kofi LouisEdward Kofi Louis (7/9/2019 1:11:00 AM)

    A born talker! !


    Thanks for sharing this poem with us.(Report)Reply

    1 person liked.
    0 person did not like.
  • Kanniappan Kanniappan (6/23/2013 7:30:00 AM)

    Excellent poem, very well written. I like it very much.(Report)Reply

    1 person liked.
    0 person did not like.
Read all 13 comments »




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Poem Submitted: Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Poem Edited: Wednesday, August 11, 2010


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