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Attack of the squash people
Marge Piercy


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 church doors.
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.

From Circles on the Water: Selected Poems of Marge Piercy (Alfred A. Knopf, Copyright 1982 ).
Used with the author's permission.



Marge Piercy is the author of 20 poetry collections, 17 novels, a short story collection, a memoir, and five nonfiction books. Her most recent poetry collection is On the Way Out, Turn Off the Light. Marge holds several honorary doctorates and has read her work at more than 575 venues around the world. An enthusiastic gardener, she lives on Cape Cod with her husband and several cats. Learn more about her at






Post New Comment:
Spot-on (well, of course, it's Piercy!
Posted 08/24/2014 06:29 AM
Love sumptuous bowls of zucchini. Love the stripes and shades of Autumn in all squashes. I also love the poem! aiyo! What a problem!
Posted 08/24/2014 01:05 AM
"...please take my zucchini, I have a crippled mother at home with heartburn." Wonderful!
Posted 08/23/2014 11:20 PM

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