Marge Piercy

(March 31, 1936 / Detroit, Michigan)

Belly Good - Poem by Marge Piercy

A heap of wheat, says the Song of Songs
but I've never seen wheat in a pile.
Apples, potatoes, cabbages, carrots
make lumpy stacks, but you are sleek
as a seal hauled out in the winter sun.
I can see you as a great goose egg
or a single juicy and fully ripe peach.
You swell like a natural grassy hill.
You are symmetrical as a Hopewell mound,
with the eye of the navel wide open,
the eye of my apple, the pear's port
window. You're not supposed to exist
at all this decade. You're to be flat
as a kitchen table, so children with
roller skates can speed over you
like those sidewalks of my childhood
that each gave a different roar under
my wheels. You're required to show
muscle striations like the ocean
sand at ebb tide, but brick hard.
Clothing is not designed for women
of whose warm and flagrant bodies
you are a swelling part. Yet I confess
I meditate with my hands folded on you,
a maternal cushion radiating comfort.
Even when I have been at my thinnest,
you have never abandoned me but curled
round as a sleeping cat under my skirt.
When I spread out, so do you. You like
to eat, drink and bang on another belly.
In anxiety I clutch you with nervous fingers
as if you were a purse full of calm.
In my grandmother standing in the fierce sun
I see your cauldron that held eleven children
shaped under the tent of her summer dress.
I see you in my mother at thirty
in her flapper gear, skinny legs
and then you knocking on the tight dress.
We hand you down like a prize feather quilt.
You are our female shame and sunburst strength.

Comments about Belly Good by Marge Piercy

  • Bharati Nayak (12/5/2018 2:23:00 AM)

    The poem is so unique in its topic as well as presentation.Let me quote from the poem- - - -
    In anxiety I clutch you with nervous fingers
    as if you were a purse full of calm.
    - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
    You are our female shame and sunburst strength.
    (Report) Reply

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  • (8/26/2018 8:39:00 PM)

    This . idk how you people like this. (Report) Reply

  • Kumarmani Mahakul (10/3/2017 4:44:00 AM)

    Beautiful poem with nice penmanship. Thanks and congratulations for being selected as the poem of the day. (Report) Reply

  • Edward Kofi Louis (10/3/2017 1:50:00 AM)

    Nervous Fingers! ! Thanks for sharing this poem with us. (Report) Reply

  • Bernard F. Asuncion (10/3/2017 12:43:00 AM)

    Such an excellent work by Marge Piercy👍👍👍 (Report) Reply

  • Susan Williams (11/1/2015 12:22:00 PM)

    She handles words like the most fluid of paints (Report) Reply

  • (5/18/2014 6:39:00 PM)

    I adore this brilliant poem! I shall no longer feel ashamed of my middle age belly! (Report) Reply

    (9/23/2018 9:03:00 AM)

    because of a poem? um ok

Read all 8 comments »

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Read poems about / on: cat, childhood, children, women, strength, ocean, winter, summer, sun, song, mother, child, sleep, woman

Poem Submitted: Friday, January 3, 2003

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