Anne Sexton :: "The Truth the Dead Know"

For my Mother, born March 1902, died March 1959
and my Father, born February 1900, died June 1959


Gone, I say and walk from church, refusing the stiff procession to the grave, letting the dead ride alone in the hearse. It is June.  I am tired of being brave.

We drive to the Cape.  I cultivate myself where the sun gutters from the sky, where the sea swings in like an iron gate and we touch.  In another country people die.

My darling, the wind falls in like stones from the whitehearted water and when we touch we enter touch entirely.  No one's alone. Men kill for this, or for as much.

And what of the dead?  They lie without shoes in the stone boats.  They are more like stone than the sea would be if it stopped.  They refuse to be blessed, throat, eye and knucklebone.

Anne Sexton