Today's poem is by Parneshia Jones

Hearing Sylvia Plath's Voice, circa 1962
        I am not very gentile. I feel that gentility is a stranglehold.

I expected something tragic.
A stumbled voice perhaps,
of hostage and brilliance,
shrouded in Waspy hesitation.

Your voice is siren, of sorts,
alive and aware, contradicting alLyour
posthumous—hiding dark between your breath.

The woman speaking seemed so sure,
so convinced she knew the exact value
of life and certain she could afford it.

Quick to answer, every response
dipped in adopted British Cockney
and the sureness of a Smith pedigree.
The metaphors of conversation were
an invite into a grand forest of a mind
where one could overlook the wilt and direness,
the suspicions of something off in the distance.

Peter Orr, in all his query, didn't know.
The poet's forest, with bottles hanging
from the trees, seemed harmless enough,
almost whimsical, like glass wind chimes
reflecting the sun, blinding the smoke screams
in the bottles.

The rifting of branches unplugs the vials.
The secrets, the pain released,
falling and imploding , puncturing tree trunks.

The screams behind the voice reveal her truth.
The truth too tragic, too late—only questions
and a garden of broken glass.

Copyright © 2015 Parneshia Jones All rights reserved
from Vessel
Milkweed Editions
Reprinted by Verse Daily® with permission

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