I am Vertical by Sylvia Plath

But I would rather be horizontal.

I am not a tree with my root in the soil

Sucking up minerals and motherly love

So that each March I may gleam into leaf,

Nor am I the beauty of a garden bed

Attracting my share of Ahs and spectacularly painted,

Unknowing I must soon unpetal.

Compared with me, a tree is immortal

And a flower-head not tall, but more startling,

And I want the one’s longevity and the other’s daring.

 

Tonight, in the infinitesimal light of the stars,

The trees and the flowers have been strewing their cool odors.

I walk among them, but none of them are noticing.

Sometimes I think that when I am sleeping

I must most perfectly resemble them–

Thoughts gone dim.

It is more natural to me, lying down.

Then the sky and I are in open conversation,

And I shall be useful when I lie down finally:

Then the trees may touch me for once,

and the flowers have time for me.

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