Marge Piercy


It is a small shell of warmth

the wind bristles at, as if

offended not to sweep unhindered

off the frozen beige marsh.

It hums with its own circulation –

water in the radiators, electricity

pouring in through the umbilical

cord, phone lines sprouting

into jacks that plug us into

news, friends, money, trouble.

The gardens are finally dead –

a crust of ice on ploughed earth.

Fragile, the house’s eggshell walls

that winter kicks, testing them.

In summer it is a porous tent,

every window open, every

breeze welcomed, scents

of rose, pine, lavender, mint:

we almost could make flower

honey like bees. Now

the house turns inward. We

creep into bed under thick quilts.

Nights are fierce. Coyotes howl

past the stubbled garden

singing for tender flesh to rip.

We sink into bearish caves

lined with fur. Our teeth grow

long and pointed as we sleep.


Copyright © 2002 Marge Piercy.  All Rights Reserved.

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