Wednesday, November 3, 2010

The Dead in their Stone Boats Know

"The Truth the Dead Know" 
by Anne Sexton, from All My Pretty Ones
     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 tide 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 their stone boats. They are more like stone
than the sea would be if it stopped. They refuse   
to be blessed, throat, eye and knucklebone.

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