Love and a cough …




SMALL WIRE

My faith
is a great weight
hung on a small wire,
as doth the spider
hang her baby on a thin web,
as doth the vine,
twiggy and wooden,
hold up grapes
like eyeballs,
as many angels
dance on the head of a pin.
God does not need
too much wire to keep Him there,
just a thin vein,
with blood pushing back and forth in it,
and some love.
As it has been said:
Love and a cough
cannot be concealed.
Even a small cough.
Even a small love.
So if you have only a thin wire,
God does not mind.
He will enter your hands
as easily as ten cents used to
bring forth a Coke.

– Anne Sexton from The Complete Poems: Anne Sexton (Mariner Books, 1999)

Too often you’ll see the five lines beginning “As has been said …” left standing alone. Rather sad because the entire poem is just too beautiful.

In a review of The Death Notebooks, Erica Jong wrote of Sexton.” She is an important poet not only because of her courage in dealing with previously forbidden subjects, but because she can make the language sing.”


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