December 31, night closes in: A Poem by Marge Piercy

December 31, night closes in

By Marge Piercy

It’s too cold to pause outside.
I worry for the birds.  We’re
the last feeder for them in half
a mile.  One woman died; one
neighbor sold to summer people
for more money than I can
imagine; the other is getting
ready to sell. It’s spooky now
in winter at the end of a winding
road. When I moved here we all
were year round, nobody was
rich. Most people fed birds.
At night the dark is thick.  Eyes
burn green in our headlights.
There’s just coywolves, friendly
foxes, grey and red squirrels,
our dependent birds and us,
four indoor cats and the moon’s
skull staring over the pines.
In the distance the ocean roars.

Marge Piercy’s new book, ON THE WAY OUT, TURN OFF THE LIGHT will be published by Knopf next September.