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The Big Boots Of Pain Analysis



Author: poem of Anne Sexton Type: poem Views: 2

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There can be certain potions


needled in the clock


for the body's fall from grace,


to untorture and to plead for.


These I have known


and would sell all my furniture


and books and assorted goods


to avoid, and more, more.





But the other pain


I would sell my life to avoid


the pain that begins in the crib


with its bars or perhaps


with your first breath


when the planets drill


your future into you


for better of worse


as you marry life


and the love that gets doled out


or doesn't.





I find now, swallowing one teaspoon


of pain, that it drops downward


to the past where it mixes


with last year's cupful


and downward into a decade's quart


and downward into a lifetime's ocean.


I alternate treading water


and deadman's float.





The teaspoon ought to be hearable


if it didn't mix into the reruns


and thus enlarge into what it is not,


a sea pest's sting turning promptly


into the shark's neat biting off


of a leg because the soul


wears a magnifying glass.


Kicking the heart


with pain's big boots running up and down


the intestines like a motorcycle racer.





Yet one does get out of bed


and start over, plunge into the day


and put on a hopeful look


and does not allow fear to build a wall


between you and an old friend


or a new friend and reach out your hand,


shutting down the thought that


an axe may cut it off unexpectedly.


One learns not to blab about all this


except to yourself or the typewriter keys


who tell no one until they get brave


and crawl off onto the printed page.





I'm getting bored with it,


I tell the typewriter,


this constantly walking around


in wet shoes and then, surprise!


Somehow DECEASED keeps getting


stamped in red over the word HOPE.


And I who keep falling thankfully


into each new pillow of belief,


finding my Mercy Street,


kissing it and tenderly gift-wrapping my love,


am beginning to wonder just what


the planets had in mind on November 9th, 1928.


The pillows are ripped away,


the hand guillotined,


dog shit thrown into the middle of a laugh,


a hornets' nest building into the hi-fi speaker


and leaving me in silence,


where, without music,


I become a cracked orphan.





Well,


one gets out of bed


and the planets don't always hiss


or muck up the day, each day.


As for the pain and its multiplying teaspoon,


perhaps it is a medicine


that will cure the soul


of its greed for love


next Thursday.






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