A book of Anne Sexton poems have been on my nightstand for about a year. I can only read 1-2 poems at a time before saturation. On those nights, chances run high I'll dream about Sexton. Mostly her voice and sitting around in living rooms and dining rooms. Don't even know what we talk about. Tried to write her back, with Father's Day on my mind.
Women are born twice, men once.
But for us, son, the drying off is slow.
From lump to sapling to tree to bean.
And in between we watch and attend.
Watch clumsiness turn to grace to poise to squeezing life out again.
Help from the outside, only let in in small ways.
We are builders and servants, boasters and protectors.
Anne, what would you have made of us
Had you seen us grow from lump around again to bean? Seen us
Fuller, slower than invaders and thralls.
Between you and your slender friend in a Boston cab,
Breaking away from Lord Lowell. Brobdingnag jokes.
You both would catch in my eyes when I saw you as vessels.
As I would see in yours whether I was politic and small or rescuer and hunter.
Consigning you to gray sparking damp clouds would not happen on my watch.
Talking with trained strangers and medicinal minuets probably would.
Son, see how a poem to you turns to apostrophe
Of desire and dreams and duties?
Those are all of the things we do.
Do not let them be all the things you are.
Do not be afraid to take taxi cab rides alone.
Do not take all of your taxi cab rides alone.