The Rams Horn Sounding · Marge Piercy · Mollie McClelland Morris

The Rams Horn Sounding · Marge Piercy

an excerpt of a poem by Marge Piercy


A woman and a Jew, sometimes more
of a contradiction than I can sweat out,
yet finally the intersection that is both
collusion and fusion, stone and seed.

Like any poet I wrestle the holy name
and know there is no wording finally
can map, contain or summon that firece
voice whose long wind lifts my hair

chills my skin and fills my lungs
to bursting. I serve the word
I cannot name, who names me daily,
who speaks to me out by whispers and shouts.

Coming to the new year, I am picked
up like the ancient ram’s horn to sound
over the congregation of people and beetles,
of pines, whales, marshhawks and asters.

Then I am dropped into the factory of words
to turn my little wheel and grind my own
edges, back on piece work again, knowing
there is no justice we don’t make daily

like bread and love. Shekinah,
stooping on hawk wings prying into my heart
with your silver beak; floating down
a milkweed silk dove of sunset:

riding the filmy sheets of rain like a ghost
ship with all sails still unfurled;
bless me and use me for telling and naming
the forever collapsing shades and shapes of life,

are rainbows cast across our eyes by the moment
of sun, the shadows we trail across the grass
running, the opal valleys of the night flesh,
the moments of knowledge of ripping into the brain

and aligning everything into a new pattern
as a constellation learned organizes blur
into stars, blood kinship with all green, hairy
and scaled folk born from the ancient warm sea.