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: 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?
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