Four poems by Marge Piercy

Marge Piercy

Marge Piercy

Marge Piercy is the author of 18 collections of poetry, most recently The Crooked Inheritence and this spring, her second volume of new and selected poems 1980-2010 The Hunger Moon, out from Knopf. She has published 17 novels, most recently Sex Wars. Two of her early novels, Dance The Eangle To Sleep and Vida, are being republished with new introductions by PM Press this fall. Her work has been translated into 19 languages. Her memoir Sleeping With Cats is available from Harper Perennial.

Fox in the morning

The grey fox, so called
actually the color of wet sand
here on the Cape, pads
daintily past the herb garden.

See, I murmur to her or him,
you still exist. I argued
with a park biologist
you hadn't died out here.

I've seen you eating wild
grapes near the dunes.
I watched your kits run
up pitch pines for safety.

Even with the coywolves
hunting you and the red
fox claiming your territory
you are at home where

you belong, stopping to
check out birdseed we
scattered on needles, left-
over cashews you gobble.

You move like the wind
through dead grasses snow
has not yet flattened and
vanish brush of tail last.





I was teaching a residency in Cincinnati
living in a loft in Over the Rhine,
our four cats transported from home
from our gardens, our pine and white
oak woods above the marsh—
their paradise and ours.

We were aliens in an alien
land where names like Rosenberg
were Germans, not Jews. We
shopped in a farmers market
that featured a hundred
fifty ways to eat pig.

We were sinking in scum green
stagnant hours. We befriended
a crazy woman for company.
The zoo was walking distance.
Every winter day I didn't teach
we visited and soon

we had made friends. The two
snow leopards would run to
the glass separating us, putting
their paws up to our hands.
They would rub like kitties
against the barrier.

I was not so stupid as
to think without the thick
glass we would romp together.
But they and we were lonely,
far from home, stuck in a place
we didn't and couldn't belong.




First Time

Love felled me
like a tree the ax
bit through and I
came crashing down
in a waterfall
of green leaves.




Some things return in spring
The brave spears of the garlic
rustle in the damp hair of the wind
off the marsh brushing them:
a sound you will never again hear.

The maple is waving little russet
hands. Long brown scaled buds
line the beech twigs. Spring
explodes into hundreds of daffodils

on the hillside that was yours.
Tulips strut their brilliance bowing
to the sun where you will no
longer pass. My tears are

brief years after you died. Still
my thoughts are bouquets like
the red tulips I can never lay
on your invisible grave.