Two poems by Marge Piercy
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.