By Diane Seuss
Some women make a pilgrimage to visit it
in the Indiana library charged to keep it safe.
I didn’t drive to it; I dreamed it, the thick braid
roped over my hands, heavier than lead.
My own hair was long for years.
Then I became obsessed with chopping it off,
and I did, clear up to my ears. If hair is beauty
then I am no longer beautiful.
Sylvia was beautiful, wasn’t she?
And like all of us, didn’t she wield her beauty
like a weapon? And then she married,
and laid it down, and when she was betrayed
and took it up again it was a word-weapon,
a poem-sword. In the dream I fasten
her braid to my own hair, at my nape.
I walk outside with it, through the world
of men, swinging it behind me like a tail.
Diane Seuss, "Self-Portrait with Sylvia Plath’s Braid" from Poem-a-Day: May 25, 2015. Copyright © 2015 by Diane Seuss. Reprinted by permission of The Academy of American Poets.
Source: Poem-a-Day: May 25, 2015 (The Academy of American Poets, www.poets.org, 2015)
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