A Secret

By Sylvia Plath

A secret! A secret!
How superior.
You are blue and huge, a traffic policeman,
Holding up one palm—

A difference between us?
I have one eye, you have two.
The secret is stamped on you,
Faint, undulant watermark.

Will it show in the black detector?
Will it come out
Wavery, indelible, true
Through the African giraffe in its Edeny greenery,

The Moroccan hippopotamus?
They stare from a square, stiff frill.
They are for export,
One a fool, the other a fool.

A secret … An extra amber
Brandy finger
Roosting and cooing ‘You, you’
Behind two eyes in which nothing is reflected but monkeys.

A knife that can be taken out
To pare nails,
To lever the dirt.
‘It won’t hurt.’

An illegitimate baby—
That big blue head—
How it breathes in the bureau drawer!
‘Is that lingerie, pet?

‘It smells of salt cod, you had better
Stab a few cloves in an apple,
Make a sachet or
Do away with the bastard.

‘Do away with it altogether.’
‘No, no, it is happy there.’
‘But it wants to get out!
Look, look! It is wanting to crawl.’

My god, there goes the stopper!
The cars in the Place de la Concorde—
Watch out!
A stampede, a stampede!

Horns twirling and jungle gutturals!
An exploded bottle of stout,
Slack foam in the lap.
You stumble out,

Dwarf baby,
The knife in your back.
‘I feel weak.’
The secret is out.

Read More Poetry

SIGN UP NOW!
Sign up for our poetry club and we'll let you know whenever we launch a new event, competition or service!
Get On The List
SIGN UP NOW!
Sign up for our poetry club and we'll let you know whenever we launch a new event, competition or service!
Get On The List

Dear Black Child - Grace Storm Ad

Dear Black Child - Grace Storm Ad
Dear Black Child - Grace Storm Ad
SIGN UP NOW!
Sign up for our poetry club and we'll let you know whenever we launch a new event, competition or service!
Get On The List
SIGN UP NOW!
Sign up for our poetry club and we'll let you know whenever we launch a new event, competition or service!
Get On The List
LEVEL UP!
Drop your email and we'll send you 25 poetry editing guidelines to help transform your creative writing!
Send It!
LEVEL UP!
Drop your email and we'll send you 25 poetry editing guidelines to help transform your creative writing!
Send It!
Get On The List
We'll let you know whenever we launch a new event, competition or service!
SIGN UP NOW!
Get On The List
We'll let you know whenever we launch a new event, competition or service!
SIGN UP NOW!