Sylvia Plath
Morning Song (c. 1960)


Love set you going like a fat gold watch.


The midwife slapped your footsoles, and your bald cry


Took its place among the elements.




Our voices echo, magnifying your arrival. New statue.


In a drafty museum, your nakedness


Shadows our safety. We stand round blankly as walls.




I'm no more your mother


Than the cloud that distills a mirror to reflect its own slow


Effacement at the wind's hand.




All night your moth-breath


Flickers among the flat pink roses. I wake to listen:


A far sea moves in my ear.




One cry, and I stumble from bed, cow-heavy and floral


In my Victorian nightgown.


Your mouth opens clean as a cat's. The window square




Whitens and swallows its dull stars. And now you try


Your handful of notes;


The clear vowels rise like balloons.