HEARING A RECORDING OF ANNE SEXTON
On track thirty-eight of Poetry Speaks
her deep voice reaches “great green people
stand over me” just as I drive under
neon-green signals on a patina-green bridge
where one state’s border meets another’s
and fog numbs every other color.
These arrows mean to say east east east yet aim
low at Earth’s core, as if to bore straight
through hood, engine, hub cap, and river mud.
But to assume that vectors or words focus down
on me, protectorate, like high carved eagles
turning verdigris, is too private a luxury, subsidized
by present ease. Anne still roves in pain; I do not.
No, at least for this trip I merely scan for signs
dividing monochrome lanes, overhearing sirens
of red, red, red, when none can be seen.
by Therese L. Broderick
NOTE: The quoted excerpt comes from the lines “The great green people stand / over me…” from Anne Sexton’s poem “The Operation.” I listened to her read the poem on the audio CD set Poetry Speaks edited by Elise Paschen and Rebekah Presson Mosby (Sourcebooks, 2001).