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August 17th Analysis

Author: poem of Anne Sexton Type: poem Views: 10

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Good for visiting hospitals or charitable work. Take some time to attend to your health.

Surely I will be disquieted

by the hospital, that body zone--

bodies wrapped in elastic bands,

bodies cased in wood or used like telephones,

bodies crucified up onto their crutches,

bodies wearing rubber bags between their legs,

bodies vomiting up their juice like detergent, Here in this house

there are other bodies.

Whenever I see a six-year-old

swimming in our aqua pool

a voice inside me says what can't be told...

Ha, someday you'll be old and withered

and tubes will be in your nose

drinking up your dinner.

Someday you'll go backward. You'll close

up like a shoebox and you'll be cursed

as you push into death feet first.

Here in the hospital, I say,

that is not my body, not my body.

I am not here for the doctors

to read like a recipe.

No. I am a daisy girl

blowing in the wind like a piece of sun.

On ward 7 there are daisies, all butter and pearl

but beside a blind man who can only

eat up the petals and count to ten.

The nurses skip rope around him and shiver

as his eyes wiggle like mercury and then

they dance from patient to patient to patient

throwing up little paper medicine cups and playing

catch with vials of dope as they wait for new accidents.

Bodies made of synthetics. Bodies swaddled like dolls

whom I visit and cajole and all they do is hum

like computers doing up our taxes, dollar by dollar.

Each body is in its bunker. The surgeon applies his gum.

Each body is fitted quickly into its ice-cream pack

and then stitched up again for the long voyage



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