print this page go back one page    

Martha Silano



    By the roots of my hair some god got hold of me
            —Sylvia Plath

By the roots of my hair, by the reinforced elastic
of my floral Bravado bra, by the fraying strands

of my blue-checked briefs, some godís gotten hold
of me, some godís squeezed hard the spit-up rag

of my soul, rung me like the little girl
who rang our doorbell on Halloween, took

our M&Ms is your baby okay? Why did they take him away?
Some godís got me thinking my milkís poison, unfit

for a hungry child, some godís got me pacing,
set me flying like the black felt bats dangling

in the hall, some god so that now I canít trust
my best friendís healing hands, the Phad Thai

sheís spooning beside the rice (ditto to the meds
the doctors say will make me well) Poison poison!

as if the god whoís got hold of me doesnít want me
well, doesnít want my rapid-fire brain to slow,

wants this ride for as long as it lasts, wants
to take it to its over-Niagara-in-a-barrel end,

which is where this god is taking me, one rung
at a time, one ambulance, one EMT strapping me in,

throwing me off this earth, cuz Iíve not only
killed my son but a heap of others too.

Some godís got me by my shiny golden locks,
by my milk-leaking breasts, got me in this hospital,

wisps like white scarves circling my head,
wisps the voices of men back to bed you whore!

Some god till Iím believing Iíve been shot, guts
dribbling out, till Iím sure Iíve ridden

all over town in a spaceship, sure Iím dead, a ghost,
a smoldering corpse, though not before Iím holding up

a shaking wall, urging the others to help me
(a plane about to land on our heads), though soon

enough thrown down by two night nurses, strapped
to a bed, though for weeks the flowers

my in-laws sent charred at the tips (having been
to hell and back), clang of pots, hissing shower,

the two blue pills my roommate left in the sink,
all signals of doom, though some god got hold of me,

shook and shook me long and hard,
she also brought me back.

Poet's Biography:
Martha Silano has had poems published in Paris Review, Hanging Loose, Green Mountains Review, Beloit Poetry Journal, Prairie Schooner, Verse, and elsewhere. She was raised in NJ, educated at Grinnell College (BA) and the University of Washington (MFA), and has worked as a legal secretary, farm hand, artist's model, and proofreader before becoming an English instructor. Her book, What the Truth Tastes Like, was published in 1999 by Nightshade Press. She lives in Seattle, WA, with her husband and son.

© 1999 - 2005, by the poets featured herein.