“…a wave you want to glide in on”

It’s Monday, and I am quickly getting addicted to posting poems here. Today it’s Anne Sexton, and I’m just posting the second half of the poem. This speaks to the deep love one has for their offspring, even as it’s a poem giving warning to a special person. Let’s not plumb the depths of despair that the name Anne Sexton brings up, instead let’s rejoice about these fine words below that describe love and growing up and the idea of both advising someone and asking them to ignore all of your advice, too.

From Admonitions to a Special Person

Love? Be it man. Be it woman.

It must be a wave you want to glide in on,

give your body to it, give your laugh to it,

give, when the gravelly sand takes you,

your tears to the land. To love another is something

like prayer and can’t be planned, you just fall

into its arms because your belief undoes your disbelief.


Special person

if  I were you I’d pay no attention

to admonitions from me,

made someone out of your words

and somewhat out of mine.

A collaboration.

I do not believe a word I have said,

except some, except I think of you like a young tree

with pasted-on leaves and know you’ll root

and the real green thing will come.


Let go. Let go.

Oh special person,

possible leaves,

this typewriter likes you on the way to them,

but wants to break crystal glasses

in celebration,

for you,

when the dark crust is thrown off

and you float all around

like a happened balloon.

Anne Sexton

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