Sylvia Plath

Family Reunion

Outside in the street I hear A car door slam; voices coming near; Incoherent scraps of talk And high heels clicking up the walk; The doorbell rends the noonday heat With copper claws; A second's pause. The dull drums of my pulses beat Against a silence wearing thin. The door now opens from within. Oh, hear the clash of people meeting --- The laughter and the screams of greeting : Fat always, and out of breath, A greasy smack on every cheek From Aunt Elizabeth; There, that's the pink, pleased squeak Of Cousin Jane, out spinster with The faded eyes And hands like nervous butterflies; While rough as splintered wood Across them all Rasps the jarring baritone of Uncle Paul; The youngest nephew gives a fretful whine And drools at the reception line. Like a diver on a lofty spar of land Atop the flight of stairs I stand. A whirlpool leers at me, I cast off my identity And make the fatal plunge.

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