KYSO Flash
Knock-Your-Socks-Off Art and Literature
Issue 8: August 2017
Poem: 96 words [R]

My shadow is long

by Marge Piercy
White cat walks carefully
over the computer keyboard.
Still a line of ssss’s, kkkkk’s
follows her soft paws.

We try not to deface
but our presence interferes.
We pollute as we breathe.
I have upset mother deer

and twin fawns by passing.
My scent intrudes. I want
to belong but machinery
follows me like a pet dog.

I’m small but my footprint
is large. Smoke mushrooms
from power plants to amuse
me and give me comfort.

In Chernobyl poisoned
for millennia, wolves run
taking back the dangerous
earth, glad we’ve all left.


—Previously published in the San Diego Poetry Annual 2016-17 (Garden Oak Press, February 2017); republished here with author’s permission and kind assistance from Garden Oak Press

Marge Piercy
Issue 8, August 2017

is praised as one of the few American writers who are accomplished poets as well as novelists. The author of 19 volumes of poetry and one of the USA’s best-selling poets, she is also master of several prose genres: historical novels, science fiction (her novel He, She, and It won the Arthur C. Clarke Award for Best Science Fiction in the United Kingdom), novels of social comment and contemporary entertainments, and a critically acclaimed memoir, Sleeping with Cats.

Piercy’s 17 novels include The New York Times bestseller Gone To Soldiers; the national bestsellers Braided Lives and The Longings of Women; the sci-fi classics Woman on the Edge of Time and He, She and It; and, most recently, Sex Wars. Her most recently published volumes of poetry include The Hunger Moon: New & Selected Poems 1980-2010 and Made in Detroit.

Born in Detroit, educated at the University of Michigan and Northwestern, and the recipient of four honorary doctorates, Piercy is active in antiwar, feminist, and environmental causes. She has taught, lectured, and/or performed her work at well over 400 universities around the world. And she has been a featured writer on Bill Moyers’ PBS Specials, NPR’s Fresh Air, the Today Show, and A Prairie Home Companion, as well as many radio programs nationwide including Air America and Oprah & Friends. Her poems are read frequently on NPR’s The Writer’s Almanac with Garrison Keillor.

Author’s website:

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