The Moss Of His Skin

'Young girls in old Arabia were often buried alive next
to their fathers, apparently as sacrifice to the goddesses
of the tribes…'

-Harold Feldman, 'Children of the Desert' Psychoanalysis
and Psychoanalytic Review, Fall 1958

It was only important
to smile and hold still,
to lie down beside him
and to rest awhile,
to be folded up together
as if we were silk,
to sink from the eyes of mother
and not to talk.
The black room took us
like a cave or a mouth
or an indoor belly.
I held my breath
and daddy was there,
his thumbs, his fat skull,
his teeth, his hair growing
like a field or a shawl.
I lay by the moss
of his skin until
it grew strange. My sisters
will never know that I fall
out of myself and pretend
that Allah will not see
how I hold my daddy
like an old stone tree.

by Anne Sexton

Comments (7)

Hi Chuck I've banned reading in our bedroom unless it's done properly and professionally, and without noice. Just a thought, 'There's rubber everything else', it occurs to me that rubber books wouldn't make a noise. Careful.....this could start a fetish Great Read Steve
In the morning, silence is golden... just like your poems. Great write, Chuck! Brian
'the paper cuts slice my dreams to shreds..' pure genius. Really enjoyed this poem packed with vivid imagery. The subtle humour evident too. Kind regards. Justine.
There is no excuse for treating a hangover victim with anything other than tender loving silence. Hugs Anna xxx
Wow - I love this one! You've succeeded in causing me one heckuva headache just reading this! You've reached a lot of people with this poem, Chuck. Well-done, friend, so take a '10'. Est : ]
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