Since Christmas they have lived with us,
Guileless and clear,
Taking up half the space,
Moving and rubbing on the silk
Invisible air drifts,
Giving a shriek and pop
When attacked, then scooting to rest, barely trembling.
Yellow cathead, blue fish---
Such queer moons we live with
Instead of dead furniture!
Straw mats, white walls
And these traveling
Globes of thin air, red, green,
The heart like wishes or free
Old ground with a feather
Beaten in starry metals.
Brother is making
His balloon squeak like a cat.
Seeming to see
A funny pink world he might eat on the other side of it,
Back, fat jug
Contemplating a world clear as water.
Shred in his little fist.
The woman is perfected.
Body wears the smile of accomplishment,
The illusion of a Greek necessity
Flows in the scrolls of her toga,
Feet seem to be saying:
We have come so far, it is over.
Each dead child coiled, a white serpent,
One at each little
Pitcher of milk, now empty.
She has folded
Them back into her body as petals
Of a rose close when the garden
Stiffens and odors bleed
From the sweet, deep throats of the night flower.
The moon has nothing to be sad about,
Staring from her hood of bone.
She is used to this sort of thing.
Her blacks crackle and drag.
A half century later and the moon is still appallingly “used to this sort of thing", what’s more appalling is WE are equally "used to this sort of thing"!!! The moon has little choice with her bystander position in the night’s sky; the same cannot be said of us. Or is it we have gazed up at her so long and for so many many nights her seeming apathy has seeped through our translucent skin perforating our "hood of bone" with her light beams of indifference?
Is this why we turn a blind eye to the male dominated, male centered, man handled, phallocentric, misogynistic, war mongering, women and children raped, battered and bruised first world that some women will find it preferable to murdering their own children rather than risk leaving them to remain at the mercy of the callous bloody hands of MANkind's cruelty and influence?
Plath had the presence of mind not to travel the Medean road with her children; instead perhaps she was able to exorcise that walk within her work alone. Sadly far too many women have taken that walk, sadder still the circumstances responsible for their trek haven’t change at all.