Daddy, Sylvia Plath

You do not do, you do not do

Anymore black shoe

In which I have lived like a foot

For thirty years, poor and white

Daddy I have tried to kill you

You died before I had the time

Marble heavy, a bag full of God

Ghastly statue with one gray toe

Big as a Frisco seal

And a head in the freakish Atlantic

Where it pours bean green over blue

In the waters off beautiful Nauset

I used to pray to recover you

Ach du

In the German tongue in the Polish town

Scraped flat by the roller of wars, wars, wars

But the name of the town is common my Polack friend

Says there are a dozen or two

So I never could tell where you put your foot your root

I never could talk to you

The tongue stuck in my jaw

It stuck in a barbed wire snare

Ich, ich, ich, ich

I could hardly speak

I thought every German was you

And the language obscene

An engine, an engine

Cuffed off like a Jew

A train to Dachau, Auschwitz, Belsen

I began to talk like a Jew

I think I might well be a Jew

The snow of the Tyrol the clear beer of Vienna

Are not very pure or true

With my gypsy actresses and my weird luck

And my Tarot pack and my Tarot pack

I may be a bit of a Jew

I have always been scared of you

With your Luftwaffe your gobblydigoo

And your neat mustache and your Aryan eye

Bright blue, Panzer man Panzer man oh you

And not God but a swastika so black no sky could sneak through

Every woman adores a Fascist

The boot in the face the brute

Brute heart of a brute like you

You stand at the blackboard Daddy

In the picture I have of you

A cleft in your chin instead of your foot

But no less a devil for that

Non not any less the black man who bit my pretty red heart in two

I was ten when they buried you

At twenty I tried to die and get back, back, back to you

I thought even the bones would do

And they pulled me out of the sack

And they put me together with glue

Then I knew what to do

I made a model of you

A man in black with a Meinkamf look

And a love of the rack and the screw

And I said I do, I do

So Daddy I’m finally through

The black telephone is off at the root

The voices just can’t worm through

If I’ve killed one man I’ve killed two

The vampire who said he was you

And drank my blood for a year

Seven years if you want to know

Daddy you can lie back now

There’s a stake in your fat black heart

And the villagers never liked you

They are dancing and stomping on you

They always knew it was you

Daddy, Daddy you bastard I’m through


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