Shatter the Bell Jar

Dear Sylvia Plath,


Let me lift the bell jar from your eyes,

flame-red strands dropping to your shoulders,

oxygen returning to your lips.


I want you to place your fingers on your heart, and listen.

The new brag.

You are. You are. You are.


Sylvia, you are more than a ground

scattered by shriveled figs.

Each word you’ve carved onto page

has became a future of its own,

a violet fruit

devoured by the young minds

that followed.


You are more than a man’s machine.

Though he twists the corks and gears

in your clogged mind,

you are the only being that knows

where the power switch is.


You are more than a newspaper headline.

Black print describing a limp body,

an empty pill canister,

a sad girl.


Sylvia, you are a person

of truth and wisdom and courage and passion.

A voice in my mind,

cajoling me towards a future

where I can take a hammer

to fears and little glass jars,

and tell another human being

how I feel,

truly feel.


The words from my lips,

like the words engraved by your poems,

will tell no lies.

Your vodka weapons,

mud-splattered dresses,

god-less night skies

serve as constant reminders.

Each word will be plucked

from its branch,

And told.


But first,

let me pass the hammer to you.

Shatter the bell jar.


Your’s Truly,

Heidi Gartley

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