Thursday, May 14, 2009

Mrs. Lazarus

Mrs. Lazarus

“I breathed his stench—
my bridegroom in his
rotting shroud”
—Carol Ann Duffy
“Mrs. Lazarus,”
The World’s Wife

Ted grieved—wept for a night & day
Over his loss—and at the funeral
Shrugged and said—to Jillian Becker
“Everybody hated Sylvia, you know”

“It was either—her or me!!!”
Ted repeated—a number of times
Thru that dreary—afternoon of death
Nobody responded—the whiskey flowed

Sylvia’s readings—on the BBC
Ted didn’t object to that—after all
It spread his fame—his growing reputation
And commercial success—all her doing

She typed—and submitted his work
Double-spaced—on clean white paper
But he grumbled—and moped because
She made him—take a bath

“It was meant to be—her stars jinxed!!!”
How Ted believed—in all that crummy
Astrological mumbo-jumbo—sneering
At The Bell Jar—proof of her Bad Seed

Some of Sylvia’s—last poems
Doggerel rhythms—stamping on the
Grave of poetry—as if she’d given up
Would she rise again—like Lazarus?

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