Tags: marge piercy

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.
Buffy: Pulled down by the undertow

Ghosts - Marge Piercy

The skin falls like leaves
in slow motion, I know it,
is sifted and shifted
by the wind like a dune.
The skin that knew you
seven years back
has sluffed and grown part
of another, some cow,
an oak tree, a crow.

The years wear holes in us,
what looks solid as sheet
metal, one morning the glass
face of the next building
peers through. Theories, rhetoric
fade like a Mail Pouch ad
on an old barn, but the structure
stands firm while the winds
howl through the necessary cracks.

What lives of the woman who
loved you? The fears that twittered
stripping me bare and bony
have risen in a shrill flock
and settled in younger women.
I worry about money
but rarely about my face,
responsibilities hang at my tits
squealing and fat as baby pigs.

Your ghost curls floating in the closed
waters of dream. Your mouth
moves on my throat in the dark,
my hands exactly form your back,
unscalded by the blood of our parting.
I wake trembling in a body you never
touched, while past the curve of the earth
you sleep. Time thickens you.
On the street would I know your face?