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by Sylvia Plath, February 5, 1963

  The woman is perfected 
  Her dead
  Body wears the smile of accomplishment,
  The illusion of a Greek necessity


5 Flows in the scrolls of her toga,
  Her bare
  Feet seem to be saying:
  We have come so far, it is over.


  Each dead child coiled, a white serpent,
10 One at each little
  Pitcher of milk, now empty

She has folded

  Them back into her body as petals
  Of a rose close when the garden
15 Stiffens and odors bleed

From the sweet, deep throats of the night flower.

  The moon has nothing to be sad about,
  Staring from her hood of bone.
  She is used to this sort of thing.
20 Her blacks crackle and drag.