'What Are Big Girls Made Of ' is the first full-length book I ever read by Marge Piercy. And the whole way through, I couldn't help but notice (and admire) how bravely and fully she inhabited what it meant to be female (from a biological make up to psychological reflection to societal roles). I was endeared to her way of breaching past with present and even coming to terms with what was and what would never be again.
I also found a lot of myself inside her collection of poetry. It's a read that I highly recommend for all women.
Anyway, I chose this poem because of the atmosphere. A sort of love poem, a sort of half daydream about what a woman feels true love should be. Or perhaps an asking on paper for something she might not have the nerve to say face to face. I think that's what a lot of any poem is: the bravery of unspoken things finally said.
I want you for my bodyguard,
to curl around each other like two socks
matched and balled in a drawer.
I want you to warm my backside,
two S's snaked curve to curve
in the down burrow of the bed.
I want you to tuck in my illness,
coddle me with tea and chicken
soup whose steam sweetens the house.
I want you to watch my back
as the knives wink in the thin light
and the whips crack out from shelter.
Guard my body against dust and disuse,
warm me from the inside out,
lie over me, under me, beside me
in the bed as the night's creek
rushes over our shining bones
and we wake to the morning fresh
and wet, a birch leaf just uncurling.
Guard my body from disdain as age
widens me like a river delta.
Let us guard each other until death,
white teeth, brain and galloping heart,
each other's rose red warrior.
From What Are Big Girls Made Of?