The Truth the Dead Know

 

For my Mother, born March 1902, died March 1959 / and my Father, born February 1900, died June 1959

Gone, I say and walk from church, / refusing the stiff procession to the grave, / letting the dead ride alone in the hearse. / It is June. I am tired of being brave.

We drive to the Cape. I cultivate / myself where the sun gutters from the sky, / where the sea swings in like an iron gate / and we touch. In another country people die.

My darling, the wind falls in like stones / from the whitehearted water and when we touch / we enter touch entirely. No one’s alone. / Men kill for this, or for as much.

And what of the dead? They lie without shoes / in the stone boats. They are more like stone / than the sea would be if it stopped. They refuse / to be blessed, throat, eye and knucklebone.

Anne Sexton

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