March 22nd, 2011

BH: A cracked song in the universe

Woman in a Shoe - Marge Piercy

There was an old woman who lived
in a shoe, her own two shoes,
men's they were, brown and worn.
They flapped when she hobbled along.

There was an old woman who lived
in a refrigerator box under
the expressway with her cat.
January, they died curled together.

There was an old woman who lived
in a room under the roof. It
got hot, but she was scared
to open the window. It got hotter.

Too hot, too cold, too poor,
too old. Invisible unless
she annoys you, invisible
unless she gets in your way.

In fairy tales if you are kind
to an old woman, she gives you
the thing you desperately need:
an unconquerable sword, a purse

bottomless and always filled,
a magical ring. We don't believe
that anymore. Such tales were
made up by old women scared

to be thrust from the hearth,
shoved into the street to starve.
Who fears an old woman pushing
a grocery cart? She is talking

to god as she shuffles along,
her life in her pockets. You
are the true child of her heart
and you see living garbage.
MM: Anime princess

The Farmer - Jeffrey McDaniel

There's a field where I grow only bruises,
inner gnawing, and heartache.

Each Saturday I harvest the crop,
haul it to the open-air market, and sell it
straight from my flatbed truck.

Fresh agony only three bucks a bushel.
Sun-dried torment by the pound.

Seven years running, my pain
has been voted best in the region,
and while I'm not wealthy,

in my own small way,
I help keep the village alive.