Two Poems by marge piercy

November doubles down

By Marge Piercy

Wind pries at the walls,
digs at shingles, strips
what leaves remain.
It’s a rowdy day, blown
birds crowding the feeders.
Everybody’s hungry now.
I can feel a killing frost
oozing down from Canada.
I can smell decay.
Frost has already shriveled
the tenderest flowers.
Hardy veggies soldier on.
It’s the anteroom to winter
when snow is promised
but doesn’t yet arrive.

At Dawn, Surprise

Last night while we slept
and the cats played and danced
the crisp moonlight turned
to snow.  In the morning
a frosting, melted before
breakfast except for the gardens
where like a white wooly sweater
full of ragged holes it lies.
The first snow is a marker.
Fall’s done.  We’re in for it now,
dark in midafternoon, gardens
barren except for what waits
under the soil for spring.
Squirrels snooze, wake on bright
days; chipmunks pass months
in their burrows. Trees
are all architecture. Every
awake body driven by hunger
hunts, is hunted. Lights poke
small holes in the night.
We press out bodies together
kindling warmth while the great
horned owl ponders mating
her heavy wings silent, swift.

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