On this bald hill the new year hones its edge.Faceless and pale as chinaThe round sky goes on minding its business.Your absence is inconspicuous;Nobody can tell what I lack.Gulls have threaded the river’s mud bed backTo this crest of grass. Inland, they argue,Settling and stirring like blown paperOr the hands of an invalid. The wanSun manages to strike such tin glintsFrom the linked ponds that my eyes winceAnd brim; the city melts like sugar.A crocodile of small girlsKnotting and stopping, ill-assorted, in blue uniforms,Opens to swallow me. I’m a stone, a stick,One child drops a carrette of pink plastic;None of them seem to notice.Their shrill, gravelly gossip’s funneled off.Now silence after silence offers itself.The wind stops my breath like a bandage.Southward, over Kentish Town, an ashen smudgeSwaddles roof and tree.It could be a snowfield or a cloudbank.I suppose it’s pointless to think of you at all.Already your doll grip lets go.The tumulus, even at noon, guargs its black shadow:You know me less constant,Ghost of a leaf, ghost of a bird.I circle the writhen trees. I am too happy.These faithful dark-boughed cypressesBrood, rooted in their heaped losses.Your cry fades like the cry of a gnat.I lose sight of you on your blind journey,While the heath grass glitters and the spindling rivuletsUnpool and spend themselves. My mind runs with them,Pooling in heel-prints, fumbling pebble and stem.The day empties its imagesLike a cup of a room. The moon’s crook whitens,Thin as the skin seaming a scar.Now, on the nursery wall,The blue night plants, the little pale blue hillIn your sister’s birthday picture start to glow.The orange pompons, the Egyptian papyrusLight up. Each rabbit-earedBlue shrub behind the glassExhales an indigo nimbus,A sort of cellophane balloon.The old dregs, the old difficulties take me to wife.Gulls stiffen to their chill vigil in the drafty half-light;I enter the lit house.
― Sylvia Plath
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