Nail Air and Bone: Day 29.4.2018 NaPoWriMo – nearly there April.

window seat

 

Sylvia Plath wrote a poem about cutting off the tip of her thumb and that poem appears in Ariel. I’ve used the style she used for that poem. My poem may seem long but the stanzas are very short; the best way to write such an incident.  I titled my ‘thumb’ poem “Your Baby Thumb”. Not the kind of poem one expects to write for a three-year-old. There was no hinge by which the lid, when raised, would stay up of its own accord. Plus such lids are a hefty weight to come down on a little thumb resting on an opposite ledge. Another reason I called my poem “Your Baby Thumb” is because this thumb never gained its full adult length. I’ve seen some weird analysis of Plath’s poem, which incidentally is named “Cut”. None of that there here. Straight forward narrative is what I’ve gone for.

 

Your Baby Thumb

for: Sue

 

A child at play

a window seat lid

a slam, a scream.

 

No blood!

My own body

seems bereft of it too.

 

Look. This is what

you will see.

A mother’s quick searching

 

for a nobble of flesh;

among the boxes and books

in the cavern of a window seat.

 

Wrapped in clean cloth

a small hand

all that is left

 

above the top knuckle

of the child’s right thumb

is nail, air and bone.

 

And it was

never straight to A&E

first the GP

 

quick examination

and his nurse’s phone call

for a taxi.

 

Limp child in my arms —

through  tears

I stand on the edge

 

of the footpath

troubled I’d not found

that bulb of missing thumb half

 

but I’d had

no time to lose.

Kindness now pushes

 

it’s face

in my direction;

a stranger on the street.

 

Could she help?

Thank you, thank you

I explained as the taxi arrived.

 

I seem like

the child now

fainted away.

 

My child rushed

to theatre;

and what remains

 

of that small thumb

is stitched to the padding

in the palm of her hand

 

under her third finger.

It was Christmas

and our little girl

 

hospitalized,

thumb to palm stitched.

We visited.

 

Few children in the ward

that week,

but there was our

 

little accident prone,

survivor  daughter

defending herself

 

bashing any boy

who caused

her annoyance

 

with –

You guessed it!

Her roundly bandaged arm.

 

Whack, whack.

 

The tiny bulb

of dying thumb

was found.

 

Oh Sylvia.

 

I would never

let you write

about that.

 

Benita Kape © 29.4.2018

NaPoWriMo 2018 image

 

 

 

And now for our daily prompt (optional, as always). Today, we’d like to challenge you to write a poem based on the Plath Poetry Project’s calendar. Simply pick a poem from the calendar, and then write a poem that responds or engages with your chosen Plath poem in some way.

Happy writing!

 

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