Kin With the Foxes

jeanne's_watercolors-2001-foxes copy

illustration by Jeanne Poland


The wall of cold descends

by Marge Piercy

Near the end of our annual solstice party
as guests were rummaging through the pile
for their coats and hugging many goodbyes
the very first snow of the year began
to eddy down in big flat flakes.

It was cold enough to stick, with the grass
poking through and then buried.
Now the ground gives it back
under the low ruddy sun that sits
on the boughs of the pine like a fox

if red foxes could climb. The cats
crowd the windows for its touch.
The Wolf Moon seemed bigger than
the sun, almost brighter as last night
it turned the snow ghostly.

Now it too wanes. The nub end
of the year when all northern
cultures celebrate fire and light.
Tonight we’ll take the first two candles
to kindle one from the other.

When we go out after dark, our
eyes seek lights that bore holes
in the thick black like the pelt
of a huge hairy monster, a grizzly
who devours the warm-blooded.

We are kin with the birds who huddle
in evergreens, who crowd feeders,
kin with the foxes and their prey, kin
with all who shiver this night, homeless
or housed, clutching or alone

under the vast high dome of night.

“The wall of cold descends” by Marge Piercy from Made in Detroit. © Knopf, 2015.

Definition #218 Golden



golden daffodils,

sunflowers, dandelions,

forsythia’s climb!

The soil feels sweet in my hands
as I push little marigolds in.
Bumblebees stir in the sour cherry
blossoms floating like pieces of moon

Marge Piercy

Definition #212 Pool of Silence

quiet lake

quiet lake

Marge Piercy

Alone on the water

that freckled into small ripples,
that raised its hackles in storms,
that lay glassy at twilight reflecting
the sunset then sucking up the dark,
I was unobserved as the quiet doe

coming with her fauns to drink
on the opposite shore. I let the row-
boat drift as the current pleased, lying
faceup like a photographer’s plate
the rising moon turned to a ghost.

And though the voices called me
back to the rented space we shared
I was sure I left my real self there—
a tiny black pupil in the immense
eye of a silver pool of silence.

“The rented lakes of my childhood” by Marge Piercy from Made in Detroit. © Knopf, 2015. Reprinted with permission.

Definition #181Dance

Alvin Ailey Dance Troop Instrument of Human Body

Alvin Ailey Dance Troop
Instrument of Human Body

instruments dance to

stretch to flow to grow to show

sheer sublimity

Nothing moves in a straight line,

But in arcs, epicycles, spirals and gyres.

Nothing living grows in cubes, cones, or rhomboids,

Marge Piercy

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