Little Mary Sunshine

By Claudia Bader

Dying
Is an art, like everything else.
I do it exceptionally well.

Sylvia Plath

In the grueling cacophonous moment
Horns blare ruthless applause.

Open the curtain; Little Mary Sunshine falls out.
A perfect doll of mold and maggots;
A smiling skull with ribbons and bows.

Her eye socket ‘s crusted, her hair’s all undone;
Her gingham keeps time as she tries to have fun.
And the tappy tap tap of her little feet
Congratulates her latest complete
Opus–where the worms seep in.

And Little Mary Sunshine crawls in the desert
Her crinolines catch fire as she bleaches to bone.
Legs scale to claws as she circles up higher;
To the red-eyed watching, the merciless caws.

Still her years yawn and are lined with teeth
Ever more terrible for being unkempt.
The gums are inflamed, they need an excavation.
They stink to high heaven
But taste just like Hell.

Yet into that maw our perfect doll goes-

Little Mary Sunshine curtsies,
and crows.

Claudia Bader, MPS, ATR-BC, NCPsyA, LP, LCAT, Level IV NCGR Counseling Astrologer. Former Executive Director of the Institute for Expressive Analysis, training analyst, faculty, supervisor, IEA. She is passionate about symbolic work, specializing in Art Diagnosis, Alchemy, Dream Interpretation, Symbolism and Art Therapy, Symbolization and Creativity, Color, Mandalas, and Astrology. She lectures and teaches at three NYC universities, IEA, and abroad. The summer of 2010 she taught color symbolism and mandala work in a weeklong intensive at Mjungi University in South Korea. Claudia is currently a PhD candidate writing her dissertation on “Duende and Psychoanalysis,” a topic she presented at IFPE in 2009. A poet, she is thrilled that her first publication of poetry will be with Other/Wise!

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