“Sylvia Plath’s Handwriting” by Jessy Randall

Jessy Randall


You thought she was your friend
and then you saw her s.
Her lower case i, with the
circle, the actual circle
instead of a dot.
Your whole idea of her went
crashing sideways.
She’s not your friend. She would never
have been your friend.
She would’ve made fun of you maybe,
or not even noticed you.
Her handwriting says popular girl.
It says sweater set. It says Barbie, Ken, 
cheerleader, sorority, peacoat.
It says cruelty. It says mean.
Or rather it says nice, nice, nice.
And maybe she hid behind it. 
And maybe she grew out of it,
or would have, if she’d had time.

from Rattle #75, Spring 2022
Tribute to Librarians


Jessy Randall: “I’m the Curator of Special Collections at Colorado College, a position I’ve held for the past twenty years. I have an MLS from UNC-Chapel Hill and have worked at the Library Company of Philadelphia and the rare book libraries of Harvard and Columbia. Many of my poems, comics, essays, and stories involve libraries, overtly or covertly. My most recent book is built from images in old library books. My next book consists of poems on women in STEM fields; I couldn’t have done the research for that book without libraries.” (web)

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