Quote of Inspiration

I saw my life branching out before me like the green fig tree in the story. From the tip of every branch, like a fat purple fig, a wonderful future beckoned and winked. One fig was a husband and a happy home and children, and another fig was a famous poet and another fig was a brilliant professor, and another fig was Ee Gee, the amazing editor, and another fig was Europe and Africa and South America, and another fig was Constantin and Socrates and Atilla and a pack of other lovers with queer names and offbeat professions, and another fig was an Olympic lady crew champion, and beyond and above these figs were many more figs I couldn't quite make out. I saw myself sitting in the crotch of this fig tree, starving to death, just because I couldn't make up my mind which of the figs I would choose. I wanted each and every one of them, but choosing one meant losing all the rest, and as I sat there, unable to decide, the figs began to wrinkle and go black, and, one by one, they plopped to the ground at my feet.

Sylvia Plath, The Bell Jar

Monday, April 18, 2011

A Poem for Maggie

Maggie's Poem:


I see you when you

Think I’m not looking, when I’m

Scrubbing dishes, standing at the

Window, your arms and legs a hundred

miles a minute through the grass

Of the backyard, your hair

In a stream of gold behind your neck, your feet

Carrying you from one end of the earth to


I see you when you

Are alone, dancing to jazz standards in

A ballet leotard, pink with glittered straps

Across the carpet of your room

Elbows slightly bent, toes pointed

You learned in class, head and chin

Tilted up, you leap across the carpet

Taking flight, during a supposed


I see you when you

think I’m too busy, between

moments of direction

Do this, don’t do that, are you

Listening to me? Between morning oatmeal,

Lunchtime questions (how do dogs pick things up?)

And evening books, when you are eager to know

If Alice makes it back up that


I see a girl with eyes that wonder

Everything, stopping to see that a bird does

In fact have a red breast. I see a

Girl tenderly touching a blade of grass, just one

To see if it’s soft or coarse or nothing

At all. I see you, Maggie, from all angles,

All sides, right and left, up and down

Every corner of your soft heart and curious


I see you. It is everything else that is

the periphery.


  1. Wow. That, my friend, is a stunning poem. Gorgeous. And Maggie will treasure it for the rest of her days. What a gift to give her, and what a gift you have.

  2. Cried through the whole thing.


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