by Sylvia Plath
Love set you going like a fat gold watch.
The midwife slapped your footsoles, and your bald cry
Took its place among the elements.
Our voices echo, magnifying your arrival. New statue.
In a drafty museum, your nakedness
Shadows our safety. We stand round blankly as walls.
I'm no more your mother
Than the cloud that distills a mirror to reflect its own slow
Effacement at the wind's hand.
All night your moth-breath
Flickers among the flat pink roses. I wake to listen:
A far sea moves in my ear.
One cry, and I stumble from bed, cow-heavy and floral
In my Victorian nightgown.
Your mouth opens clean as a cat's. The window square
Whitens and swallows its dull stars. And now you try
Your handful of notes;
The clear vowels rise like balloons.
I love this poem. Especially the onomatopaeic first line.
The description of that first night with your first babe.
And the third stanza describes something about motherhood that I
sometimes sense ,but have never been able to put into my own words.
Aah, Sylvia, love set us all going like a fat gold watch, even you.
How sad that you stopped your own watch.
This poem, Sylvia and the ticking love remind me to get out of my own
head and back into life, into my kids and others I love. It reminds me
that worries don't lead me to the good stuff. Not like my daughter's
ability to burp on request, Sacha's inflammatory declarations that our
Prime Minister is sexy ( eyew!) and DJ J's endless crooning of
popular tunes will.
Love set them going like fat gold watches. May they tick on and on.