NaPoWriMo 2018 Two Sylvias Press Days 10 and 11

For Day 10, the prompt was to work with Sylvia Plath’s poem, Three Women, and the idea of mothering and sadness. I used an old erasure poem as a basis for this and reworked it. The coloured fonts represent the different voices I heard in this piece.

Mothering in Three Voices


Bear witness.  We each mother
our own pain.
Hatred of the body runs deep
in rivers of distrust

I mother the pain of women
consciousness growing
backward, denial
peeled away.

Sylvia, you’re so tired. Lie down.

Our tiredness profound,
we felt how good we were
at pushing down tears.

Don’t ask for light, Sylvia.

And I wept for myself,
for my mother, for the endless
grief of losing two children.

Don’t ask for your grandmother’s grief.
Her mother died in childbirth
wailing for all women.
Not your pain, Sylvia, but the pain.

She knew why we were on earth.
There are no mistakes, no other path,
no words beyond reason.
The veil between is thin.


Carol A. Stephen
April 9, 2016/April 12, 2018
rework of What We Carry with Us








For Day 11, the prompt asks to draw ten circles, then use the circles to draw images, then write about the images, using at least five of them. And to write in couplets, at least 15 lines.

Here is my attempt:

Remember Gilroy?

At harvest, when the pumpkin’s ripe and the moon
shines full on the shadows, Gilroy

my cat, eyes like dark beads, sings songs at
the front door, loud enough to wake babies.

Daytime, he plays with his sparkly toy balls,
plays fetch like the old dog used to do.

Daytime, his eyes like marbles, narrow
to slits, as he readies himself to

pounce on a malted-milk ball, loose
from the package and rolling on the floor.

We trip over unsuspected lumps
under the edges of carpets.

Wherever that cat goes, he leaves his presents.
Never puts his toys away, except in his food bowl

when it’s empty.
It’s all just to say, Gilroy was here!

Carol A. Stephen/April 11, 2018

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