Thursday, August 03, 2006

poetry friday

Seems like all of my friends are having babies... this poem is especially for my friend Sara, whose tummy dweller is still a mystery.

For an Unborn Baby

If she's a girl,
I hope she'll stretch her wings
and grow up free, wide ranging
like a seagull, dealing with the winds
competently, swifting of currents of air,
able to live on anything she can find
in the murky sea, or even in rubbish heaps,
adapting with ease when storms drive her inland.
May she choose wisely if in the end
she settles on one name, one piece of ground.

May she banish those who'd seek to protect her
from heartbreak, or joy.
- And may he achieve no less
if he's a boy.

Janet Shepperson

And another poem, suggested by that same Sara, whose husband is a manic gardener:


Attack of the Squash People


And thus the people every year
in the valley of humid July
did sacrifice themselves
to the long green phallic god
and eat and eat and eat.
They're coming, they're on us,
the long striped gourds, the silky
babies, the hairy adolescents,
the lumpy vast adults
like the trunks of green elephants.
Recite fifty zucchini recipes!
Zucchini tempura; creamed soup;
sauté with olive oil and cumin,
tomatoes, onion; frittata;
casserole of lamb; baked
topped with cheese; marinated;
stuffed; stewed; driven
through the heart like a stake.
Get rid of old friends: they too
have gardens and full trunks.
Look for newcomers: befriend
them in the post office, unload
on them and run. Stop tourists
in the street. Take truckloads
to Boston. Give to your Red Cross.
Beg on the highway: please
take my zucchini, I have a crippled
mother at home with heartburn.
Sneak out before dawn to drop
them in other people's gardens,
in baby buggies at churchdoors.
Shot, smuggling zucchini into
mailboxes, a federal offense.
With a suave reptilian glitter
you bask among your raspy
fronds sudden and huge as
alligators. You give and give
too much, like summer days
limp with heat, thunderstorms
bursting their bags on our heads,
as we salt and freeze and pickle
for the too little to come.

Marge Piercy

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