Pernickety

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Last week, I posted a poem by Marge Piercy about male-female relationships that immediately sparked comments from readers, both positive and negative. The topic clearly does not get old.

This week, Piercy tackles heavy themes like faith and justice, via nature’s impartiality and indifference. An equally timeless theme, I would say, although one that is likely to provoke less dialogue.

Here is the lovely poem, one of my favorite pieces by Piercy:

 

The Pernickety Plum Tree

 

The fourth year after we planted it

the Shiro plum tree gave us

two perfect plums

the color of slow clear river

running golden green in the sun,

hue of young grass,

with a  fine perfume and savor

sweet and juicy in the mouth.

From the whole tree, graceful

and long limbed, two plums.

Enough to command our attention,

just enough: we each have

half a plum,

justice with a knife.

From a thousand flickering leaves,

from a hundred white blossoms

falling like stars on the path,

two plums: a fable

of highly selective productivity,

or the difficulty of fruition,

or the wisdom of a lazy tree

that we feed, that we water, that we coddle

and pick coppery beetles from,

of our own gullibility

strung along with two plums.

 

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