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A Sad Child
(18 November 1939 / Ottawa, Ontario)

A Sad Child

Poem By Margaret Atwood

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 favorite 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.

User Rating: 3,8 / 5 ( 118 votes ) 81

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Comments (81)

The 4th and 5th stanza are too sad to read Sad, indeed!
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. very fine poem. tony
with the ribbon and the ice-cream smear, and said to yourself in the bathroom, I am not the favorite child. sadistic note
great poem penned/// let's go forget the sorrow we the maker we savior our life, our world let's come the good morrow
Count thy blessings and stop sulking


Comments