My heart opens with a shriek.

She takes in everything

as if it belonged to her alone.

All that is left of my tears

is the salt on my cheeks.

I scrub my skin raw.

Deep down I know

that I am the moon

my face pale and wavering.

Too proud to ask for help

but not too proud

to declare myself deficient.

I can’t bare it you know

this devastating mediocrity

I’d rather be a ghost.

I look askance,

arms outstretched

how dare I ask

for a moment of your time

when you have paid so much

and I so little.

How could this feeling be false?

A mere ploy?

When I can see my life thinning.

Right before my eyes

everything that I have loved

presses forward

and I falling backwards

cannot hope to catch up

so I stand looking on quietly.

I hold in my hand

the greasy, black umbilicus

but it cannot be torn free.

I cannot rewrite the script

it is set into my very bones.

All that is left of me

is the knowing,

is the romanticization of this illness

which has become my identity.

My indemnity, my indignity

what a joke, what a fate

to be defiled by my very own mind.

I feel their eyes on me,

their theatrical hunger

and if I were to die

They’d say “What a pity!”

“What a waste!”

“She was too young!”

It’s not a fix, dying

I think this sin should follow me

beyond the grave.


Based on my teenage years which was a very dark period


8 thoughts on “Sunday Writing Prompt “Lady Lazarus- Sylvia Plath”

  1. This is really rich for the stark images, yet they weave such a solid and solitary tale …. it seems a bit “weird” to hit the like button, but I think you’ve captured the essences of desperation, of being haunted, of being tormented and invisible, which is both blessing and curse, of course … and of the despair that can so effectively cripple someone.

    I’d start pulling out favourite stanzas, but then, I’d be like copying most of the poem …. but I have to note: the one with reference to the moon is startling, fresh and then gains so much strength from the ones that follow …. I keep coming back to this section and sitting with it …

    fascinating prompt Yves … (I’ll get to it later I think) … and interesting exploration here – and I have to ask: since you’ve noted in the comments on the prompt, Plath’s poem has been a long-standing favourite, and since you’ve now written this piece here, and noted that it’s a bit of a reflection/musing on your teenaged years, how did you feel composing this, now, – older, wiser, from a distance that perhaps you never thought you might reach? does it seem strange to look for images and phrases that captured this dark time; do you feel like you’re a witness to it?
    I’m just curious …

    1. I know when you hit like you are not cheering or championing for misery lol I know what you mean though but I take it as an appreciation for the writing. It did seem at the time I was trapped, it is hard to imagine coming out on the other side when you’ve been in the dark for so long. Now I feel like I spend less time in the dark and also have a sense that it will pass

      1. …. it’s weird how things/perspectives change and if anything, at least, now, not feeling so suffocated and knowing that things will pass, is a huge gift and blessing ~ a miracle in itself – and truly, something to hold on to when the darkness begins to descend again.

  2. There is much darkness in the angst of teenagers.
    We must not allow our past to define us.
    Though I do believe we have every right to embrace the hard lessons endured. Each scar, more a ‘mettle’ of honor that we have made it thus far and still trod on.

  3. Dear Yves, this is such a powerful and tender voice. Those teenage years do not stop haunting and the light seems to be a flickering bulb at best. This poem speaks to me in many ways.
    Your diction, your phrasing, your way of expressing no holds barred are cherished. “I cannot rewrite…my very own mind”: This section is so heartrending.
    I hope you are doing well! 🙂

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