The Sylvia Plath Forum

Poems inspired by Sylvia Plath

The Winter of Her Suicide

A Memoir

As icy droplets flurry in a grey London sky
a woman
leaves milk and bread
for children long asleep, and,
with silent pretense
solicits postage stamps from an aging
churlish neighbour.

A frigid hallway
cluttered with pram and trash can
beckons the lonely girl into one last daydream
of bold plated bracelets and lazy
coloured lemonade.

The Fox who thinks she does not care
is elsewhere
chasing rabbits
to snatch and hold in a facist public snare.
In a Spanish brothel his huge poems seduce
the harlot
while putrid air unknowing fills his house
and lungs and lungs
cry out for life not lived in part
but whole.

Autumn weeps for one of its own -
fallen long before
the last crashing leaves
wake the children
from their toxic slumber to find
the bread has turned to hate, and the milk to anger
at summer's long hot days.

The muse who gave voice to her genius
stabbed her in the back.

As spring dangles in a noose
from icy trees
the woman waxes lyrical -
a mixture of tears and
of house and mother and Vogue Magazine. Her
last breath spent
those who shattered her delicate expectations
predicting those same betrayers
flock to her grave
and pay homage
to her skillful manipulation
their meaningless words.

Peter Walker
Christchurch, New Zealand
21st September 1998


The Sylvia Plath Forum is administered by Elaine Connell, author of Sylvia Plath: Killing The Angel In The House.

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