Truly Tabitha

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You All Know the Story of the Other Woman

Anne Sexton is my favorite poet. She was married to the same man for most of her adult life and carried on numerous affairs with a wide variety of men. She fell in love easily, and frequently, and she wrote about it. This is a poem about being the “other woman” when the morning comes.

You All Know the Story of the Other Woman

It’s a little Walden.
She is private in her breathbed
as his body takes off and flies,
flies straight as an arrow.
But it’s a bad translation.
Daylight is nobody’s friend.
God comes in like a landlord
and flashes on his brassy lamp.
Now she is just so-so.
He puts his bones back on,
turning the clock back an hour.
She knows flesh, that skin ballon,
the unbound limbs, the boards,
the roof, the removable roof.
She is his selection, part time.
You know the story too! Look,
when it is over he places her,
like a phone, back on the hook.

–Anne Sexton

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