Poetry Sunday: Attack of the Squash People by Marge Piercy

Anyone who has ever raised zucchini squash should appreciate this poem. Once the zucchini starts producing, there's no stopping it! Moderation is no part of its makeup. The gardener foists the excess on neighbors and friends, relatives and perfect strangers who happen to wander too close. It is the "Attack of the Squash People"! 

Attack of the Squash People

by Marge Piercy

And thus the people every year
in the valley of humid July
did sacrifice themselves
to the long green phallic god
and eat and eat and eat.
They're coming, they're on us,
the long striped gourds, the silky
babies, the hairy adolescents,
the lumpy vast adults
like the trunks of green elephants.
Recite fifty zucchini recipes!

Zucchini tempura; creamed soup;
sauté with olive oil and cumin,
tomatoes, onion; frittata;
casserole of lamb; baked
topped with cheese; marinated;
stuffed; stewed; driven
through the heart like a stake.

Get rid of old friends: they too
have gardens and full trunks.
Look for newcomers: befriend
them in the post office, unload
on them and run. Stop tourists
in the street. Take truckloads
to Boston. Give to your Red Cross.
Beg on the highway: please
take my zucchini, I have a crippled
mother at home with heartburn.

Sneak out before dawn to drop
them in other people's gardens,
in baby buggies at churchdoors.
Shot, smuggling zucchini into
mailboxes, a federal offense.

With a suave reptilian glitter
you bask among your raspy
fronds sudden and huge as
alligators. You give and give
too much, like summer days
limp with heat, thunderstorms
bursting their bags on our heads,
as we salt and freeze and pickle
for the too little to come.


  1. This is hilarious! We grow zucchini every year and I do have a ton of recipes for it from soups to casseroles to zucchini pancakes and zucchini bread. :D

  2. I love this! I'm one of those weird people who can't eat enough summer squash. Somehow, the squash people never find me though.

  3. Oh mercy! Yes, indeed! That was our cherry tomatoes this year.

  4. This is so funny! Alas, I am a city person, and have never grown any vegetables, despite my dreams of planting roses and a berry bush on our fully tiled backyard as a kid. I wish I can experience the curse of the squash myself someday!


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