poet Anne Sexton

Anne Sexton

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Cigarettes And Whiskey And Wild, Wild Women

(from a song)

Perhaps I was born kneeling,
born coughing on the long winter,
born expecting the kiss of mercy,
born with a passion for quickness
and yet, as things progressed,
I learned early about the stockade
or taken out, the fume of the enema.
By two or three I learned not to kneel,
not to expect, to plant my fires underground
where none but the dolls, perfect and awful,
could be whispered to or laid down to die.

Now that I have written many words,
and let out so many loves, for so many,
and been altogether what I always was—
a woman of excess, of zeal and greed,
I find the effort useless.
Do I not look in the mirror,
these days,
and see a drunken rat avert her eyes?
Do I not feel the hunger so acutely
that I would rather die than look
into its face?
I kneel once more,
in case mercy should come
in the nick of time.

Poem Submitted: Tuesday, July 11, 2006
Poem Edited: Thursday, November 10, 2011

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Comments about Cigarettes And Whiskey And Wild, Wild Women by Anne Sexton

  • Anas AffanAnas Affan (9/21/2016 2:30:00 AM)

    superb written...........

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  • Marv Davis (2/6/2007 3:34:00 PM)

    your poem spaeks to the soul keep at it

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