Two poems by Marge Piercy

Cellar Holes

 

Anemones sprinkle the cold ground

A scattering of pale blue stars.

They multiply every year.

Daffodils wave their trumpets

of gold; lemon and white.

It’s late April in late spring.

 

In ten days or so, if I walk

an old sand road through

woods, I can bushwhack

through trees and brush

to find cellar holes of houses

gone two centuries or more

 

by the scent of lilacs.

I think of Whitman. Here

were the former dooryards.

Other survivors lurk—old-

fashioned orange daylilies,

daffodils.  All signs a woman

 

long ago cared enough

where she lived [perhaps

the husband gone whaling]

to plant her sweet flowers

to keep her company

to ease her rugged days.

 

 

 

Careful Now or Else

 

In old age, every mistake is costly.

Step off a curb wrong and you’re

In a clumsy lace-up boot for months

a bear cub stuck on your foot.

 

Sit in a draft, overdo shoveling

trip on the cat, awkward misstep

on the stairs, hello, doc and bills

hours waiting to be seen.

 

Overeat? You’ll pay for it.
Overdo?  Back to bed and rehab.

You used to be able to drink

the boys under the table.

 

A sneeze can rupture something.

Bruises take weeks to heal. You’re

rickety: face it.  Even walking down

a street requires your full attention.

Marge Piercy has written 17 novels including The New York Times Bestseller Gone To Soldiers; the National Bestsellers Braided Lives and The Longings of Women; the classics Woman on the Edge of Time and He, She and It; and most recently Sex Wars. Among her 19 volumes of poetry, the most recently published include The Hunger Moon: New & Selected Poems 1980-2010, and Made in Detroit. Her critically acclaimed memoir is Sleeping with Cats