AS SYLVIA PLATH DIES, MY GRANDFATHER CYCLES TO WORK IN LONDON

M. J. ARLETT

 
 

The pipes have not frozen like this

in a hundred years. The air a mill

of hooks, each breath

 
so irritating,

he will cough up pearls.
 
His cheeks,

 
blushing, folding

as petals do into the tight pink fist

of a chrysanthemum.

 
Once thawed, his fingers will ink letters,

penmanship charged by the hour.

 
His words are art as hers

 
are paint. For now,

voiceless.
 
At Regent’s Park, an ambulance,

ghostly and timid in the snow,

its wheels waltzing on the yet-to-be-gritted road.
 
It is a Monday, snow falling

since Christmas and all morning the morning

has refused to step out of whiteness.

 

 
 

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