Showing posts with the label Jane Hirshfield

It Was Like This: You Were Happy

by Jane Hirshfield for J.S. It was like this: you were happy, then you were sad, then happy again, then not. It went on. You were innocent or you were guilty. Actions were taken, or not. At times you spoke, at other times you were silent. Mostly, it seems you were silent—what could you say? Now it is almost over. Like a lover, your life bends down and kisses your life. It does this not in forgiveness— between you, there is nothing to forgive— but with the simple nod of a baker at the moment he sees the bread is finished with transformation. Eating, too, is a thing now only for others. It doesn’t matter what they will make of you or your days: they will be wrong, they will miss the wrong woman, miss the wrong man, all the stories they tell will be tales of their own invention. Your story was this: you were happy, then you were sad, you slept, you awakened. Sometimes you ate roasted chestnuts, sometimes persimmons.


by Jane Hirshfield I want to give myself utterly as the maple that burned and burned for three days without stinting and then in two more dropped off very leaf; as this lake that, no matter what comes to its green-blue depths, both takes and returns it. In the still heart, that refuses nothing, the world is twice-born — two earths wheeling, two heavens, two egrets reaching down into subtraction; even the fish for an instant doubled, before it is gone. I want the fish. I want the losing it all when it rains and I want the returning transparence. I want the place by the edge-flowers where the shallow sand is deceptive, where whatever steps in must plunge, and I want that plunging. I want the ones who come in secret to drink only in early darkness,’ and I want the ones who are swallowed. I want the way the water sees without eyes, hears without ears, shivers without will or fear at the gentlest touch.