Tuesday 3 February 2015

Poetic Pairing: February 2015

Girl at the Mirror David Muirhead 1928 Royal Academy of Arts

A Sad Child

You're sad because you're sad.
It's psychic. It's the age. It's chemical.
Go see a shrink or take a pill,
or hug your sadness like an eyeless doll
you need to sleep.

Well, all children are sad
but some get over it.
Count your blessings. Better than that,
buy a hat. Buy a coat or pet.
Take up dancing to forget.

Forget what?
Your sadness, your shadow,
whatever it was that was done to you
the day of the lawn party
when you came inside flushed with the sun,
your mouth sulky with sugar,
in your new dress with the ribbon 
and the ice-cream smear,
and said to yourself in the bathroom,
I am not the favourite child.

My darling, when it comes 
right down to it
and the light fails and the fog rolls in
 and you're trapped in your overturned body 
under a blanket or burning car,

and the red flame is seeping out of you 
and igniting the tarmac beside your head 
or else the floor, or else the pillow, 
none of us is;
or else we all are.

Margaret Atwood