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Stately vistas of stately vistas

Rooms opening into each other
beckon, light filling each arch—
not a railroad flat although I
surely have lived in such
in Chicago, Brooklyn.

Power, wealth require big
rooms and vistas—Hampton Court
for instance that Henry stole
from Cardinal Wolsey. I’m
reminded of old condensed

milk cans with cow inside cow
inside cow, as I stand staring
but Versailles salons are all
for giants or those who think
they are. I can walk through

entering the rows of door
ways each contained in the next
to my eye. Whoever needed
to spread out so, amid chairs
no one could loaf in, tables

fit only for night long feasts
mirrored rooms reflecting
mirrored rooms? I escape
into the sunlight under
standing the guillotine.

Marge Piercy is the author of Pesach for the Rest of Us: Making the Passover Seder Your Own (Schocken, 2007). Her most recent novel is Sex Wars: A Novel of the Turbulent Post-Civil War Period (New York: William Morrow, 2005) and her newest book of poetry is The Crooked Inheritance (Knopf, 2006).

Copyright 2008 Marge Piercy, Box 1473, Wellfleet, MA 02667.
2008, Volume 60, Issue 04 (September)
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