And One For My Dame
A born salesman,
my father made all his dough
by selling wool to Fieldcrest, Woolrich and Faribo.
A born talker,
he could sell one hundred wet-down bales
of that white stuff. He could clock the miles and the sales
and make it pay.
At home each sentence he would utter
had first pleased the buyer who'd paid him off in butter.
had been tried over and over, at any rate,
on the man who was sold by the man who filled my plate.
My father hovered
over the Yorkshire pudding and the beef:
a peddler, a hawker, a merchant and an Indian chief.
Roosevelt! Willkie! and war!
How suddenly gauche I was
with my old-maid heart and my funny teenage applause.
Each night at home
my father was in love with maps
while the radio fought its battles with Nazis and Japs.
Except when he hid
in his bedroom on a three-day drunk,
he typed out complex itineraries, packed his trunk,
his matched luggage
and pocketed a confirmed reservation,
his heart already pushing over the red routes of the nation.
I sit at my desk
each night with no place to go,
opening thee wrinkled maps of Milwaukee and Buffalo,
the whole U.S.,
its cemeteries, its arbitrary time zones,
through routes like small veins, capitals like small stones.
He died on the road,
his heart pushed from neck to back,
his white hanky signaling from the window of the Cadillac.
as blue-eyed as a picture book, sells wool:
boxes of card waste, laps and rovings he can pull
to the thread
and say Leicester, Rambouillet, Merino,
a half-blood, it's greasy and thick, yellow as old snow.
And when you drive off, my darling,
Yes, sir! Yes, sir! It's one for my dame,
your sample cases branded with my father's name,
your itinerary open,
its tolls ticking and greedy,
its highways built up like new loves, raw and speedy.
Anne Sexton's Other Poems
Read this poem in other languages
This poem has not been translated into any other language yet.
Comments about this poem (And One For My Dame by Anne Sexton )
Did you read them?
- hindi haiku ghazal chaand, S.D. TIWARI
- Who Really Cares? Does Anything Matter?, Mr. Nobody
- Jashn manaao, Aftab Alam
- Poetry Is Where You Find It X, Frank Avon
- Happiness Is..., Arno Le Roux
- I Never Travelled Alone, Akhtar Jawad
- Wholesomeness To Thirst, Lawrence S. Pertillar
- Sleep At The Wheel, Lawrence S. Pertillar
- Home and Love, Aftab Alam
- Annihilation of trust, Aftab Alam
Poem of the Day
- The Road Not Taken, Robert Frost
- Daffodils, William Wordsworth
- A Dream Within A Dream, Edgar Allan Poe
- Annabel Lee, Edgar Allan Poe
- Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night, Dylan Thomas
- Emmonsail's Heath in Winter, John Clare
- Dreams, Langston Hughes
- Fire and Ice, Robert Frost
- If, Rudyard Kipling
- Do Not Stand At My Grave And Weep, Mary Elizabeth Frye
(7 May 1861 – 7 August 1941)
Edgar Allan Poe
(19 January 1809 - 7 October 1849)
(March 26, 1874 – January 29, 1963)
(12 July 1904 – 23 September 1973)
(26 April 1564 - 23 April 1616)
Rainer Maria Rilke
(4 December 1875 – 29 December 1926)
(28 November 1757 – 12 August 1827)
(31 October 1795 – 23 February 1821)
Alfred Lord Tennyson
(6 August 1809 – 6 October 1892)