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The Wifebeater Analysis

Author: poem of Anne Sexton Type: poem Views: 6

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There will be mud on the carpet tonight

and blood in the gravy as well.

The wifebeater is out,

the childbeater is out

eating soil and drinking bullets from a cup.

He strides bback and forth

in front of my study window

chewing little red pieces of my heart.

His eyes flash like a birthday cake

and he makes bread out of rock.

Yesterday he was walking

like a man in the world.

He was upright and conservative

but somehow evasive, somehow contagious.

Yesterday he built me a country

and laid out a shadow where I could sleep

but today a coffin for the madonna and child,

today two women in baby clothes will be hamburg.

With a tongue like a razor he will kiss,

the mother, the child,

and we three will color the stars black

in memory of his mother

who kept him chained to the food tree

or turned him on and off like a water faucet

and made women through all these hazy years

the enemy with a heart of lies.

Tonight all the red dogs lie down in fear

and the wife and daughter knit into each other

until they are killed.

Submitted by Emily


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