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Poems by Marilyn Buck and Margie Piercy

May 2, 2013

Prison
BY MARILYN BUCK

no grass
no trees
no children throwing stones
into puddles
no laughter
no tears

no peace
no silence
no world of colors
no sun
no moon
no weather at all

Living without
blowing winds
gentle rains
day or night
my internal clock
is deprived of nature’s power

There is only the beat of my heart

Ghosts

BY MARGE PIERCY

How often we navigate by what is no
longer there.  Turn right where the post
office used to be.  She lives in a condo
above where the bakery blew sweet
yeasty smells into the street.  A nail
salon now.

Kelsey Hayes had a factory there
on Livernois where our neighbors
worked.  A foundry spat out metal
where the strip club spits neon
now and loud skanky music
into the night.

Rows of little cheap houses replaced
by a few McMansions.  Where did
all those people go?  The workers
in factories, in tool and dye shops,
the shoemakers and tailors, mom
and pop eateries?

You can be plunked down in Anywhere
U.S.A. and see the same row of stores
Target, Walmart, Gap, Toys-R-Us.
Exit the superhighway: McDonalds,
Taco Bell, Burger King, Hardees,
you haven’t moved.

That’s where the school was: see,
it’s condos now.  That’s the church
the parish closed to pay for priests’
sex.  China got the shoe factory.
Urban renewal turned the old neighbor-
hood to dust.

Some things we make better and some
are destroyed by greed and bad
politics.  We live in the wake
of decisions we didn’t share in,
survivors of a vast lethal typhoon
of power.”

(Marge Piercy is the author of 18 poetry books, most recently ‘The Hungry Moon: New Selected Poems, 1980-2010’ from Knopf)

(Monthly Review – March 2013)

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