Daring to be Different-Anne Sexton

In lieu of the anniversary of Anne Sexton's death October 4th, 1974. 

By Maxine W. Kumin

Shall I say how it is in your clothes?
A month after your death I wear your blue jacket.   
The dog at the center of my life recognizes   
you’ve come to visit, he’s ecstatic.
In the left pocket, a hole.
In the right, a parking ticket
delivered up last August on Bay State Road.   
In my heart, a scatter like milkweed,
a flinging from the pods of the soul.
My skin presses your old outline.
It is hot and dry inside.

I think of the last day of your life,
old friend, how I would unwind it, paste   
it together in a different collage,
back from the death car idling in the garage,   
back up the stairs, your praying hands unlaced,   
reassembling the bits of bread and tuna fish   
into a ceremony of sandwich,
running the home movie backward to a space   
we could be easy in, a kitchen place
with vodka and ice, our words like living meat.

Dear friend, you have excited crowds
with your example. They swell
like wine bags, straining at your seams.   
I will be years gathering up our words,   
fishing out letters, snapshots, stains,
leaning my ribs against this durable cloth
to put on the dumb blue blazer of your death.

Sexton was very much a victim of the male medical machine and her choice to commit suicide when stripped of the veneer of freedom was no choice at all. Somewhere between misogyny's noose, the male medical machine's poisons and cold green corridors and patriarchy's lead foot revving the "death car" in the garage, choice never figured in.

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  1. Thank you. That was lovely.

  2. Thanks for posting this. I'd love to see you post more examples of proud and interesting women. In my opinion that would do more to help confused trans trenders than the usual stuff on this blog that they just write off as hate.

  3. Thanks. The loss of Sexton's voice so early in her life....truly a loss for all of us.

  4. I loved this post. We need more positive females in the world. You rock, and I am so proud of the work you do.


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