Sylvia Plath


Compelled by calamity's magnet 
They loiter and stare as if the house 
Burnt-out were theirs, or as if they thought 
Some scandal might any minute ooze
 From a smoke-choked closet into light; 
No deaths, no prodigious injuries 
Glut these hunters after an old meat, 
Blood-spoor of the austere tragedies. 

Mother Medea in a green smock 
Moves humbly as any housewife through
 Her ruined apartments, taking stock 
Of charred shoes, the sodden upholstery: 
Cheated of the pyre and the rack, 
The crowd sucks her last tear and turns away.