Sylvia Plath re-calls the Poetry Crisis Line

COUNSELOR: Poetry Crisis Line, what is your emergency?

CALLER: You do not do,

COUNSELOR: What don’t I do?

CALLER: you do not do / Any more,

COUNSELOR: What don’t I do any more of? Or anymore?

CALLER: black shoe

COUNSELOR: Is that like soft-shoe?

CALLER: In which I have lived

COUNSELOR: So, more like the old lady in a shoe? How much floor space?

CALLER: like a foot   

COUNSELOR: That’s tough. How long have you lived there?

CALLER: For thirty years,

COUNSELOR: So you can’t get out of the mortgage? Is there anywhere else you could go? Like maybe a vacation slipper?

CALLER: poor and white,   

COUNSELOR: Then… uh… boot camp?

CALLER: Barely daring to breathe or

COUNSELOR: I imagine it must really stink, living there.

CALLER: Achoo.

COUNSELOR: Gesundheit.

CALLER: Daddy, I have had to kill you.   

COUNSELOR: That seems like a lot to bear.

CALLER: You died before I had time——

COUNSELOR: Was that a relief?

CALLER: Marble-heavy,

COUNSELOR: So…still a Lizzie burden.

CALLER: a bag full of God,   

COUNSELOR: Are there angels pinned to it?

CALLER: Ghastly statue with one gray toe   

COUNSELOR: Was that toe statue in the living room? Of the shoe house?

CALLER: Big as a Frisco seal

COUNSELOR: So… in the kitchen with the Rice-A-Roni?


Click here to read the rest of “Daddy” by Sylvia Plath

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