The Sylvia Plath Forum

Poems inspired by Sylvia Plath

Playing Your Last Tape

Your voice is all I have.
At thirty, tense, throaty
from too much tobacco.
The longer vowels, exhaled
in cadence, shake.

At times a sour rasp,
syllables agitated
jutting over fingers
that clasp your throat.
Fierce complaints
against the universe
and that one deep pain--
your failed saviour-saints.

The hard bite of consonants,
a barbed-wire embrace for
inmate memories, midnight
visions, while down a flight
of clanging stairs, the girl
of nine, chained, eyes shut,
feels voices crank the cables
tighter and tighter yet.

They placed you in a container
and they put it in the ground,
but you will not be restrained
this time will you? I confess
no one but you could kill you
with the requisite finesse,
the rhymed departure note.

So. So here we are: your voice
and I in this room alone
hanging used flesh back
on used bone, replacing
your shyness, your gracious
distress, your long fingers
straying again to your neck
like children playing.

And this poem, its own
hands to its throat, keen
for release, its eyes on you:
slim, long-waisted, down
a thin corridor of words,
your hand raised, waving--
but not to say goodbye.

Gary Hyland
Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan, Canada
Saturday, April 14, 2001

The Sylvia Plath Forum is administered by Elaine Connell, author of Sylvia Plath: Killing The Angel In The House.

Web Design by Pennine Pens.