Jane Hirshfield was born in New York City in 1953. She graduated from Princeton University (in the first graduating class to include women!) and then studied at the San Francisco Zen Center. Her books include After (HarperCollins, 2006); Given Sugar, Given Salt (2001), The Lives of the Heart (1997), The October Palace (1994), Of Gravity & Angels (1988), and Alaya (1982).
Hope you enjoy this one. Have a wonderful day!
Poem Holding Its Heart In One Fist
Each pebble in this world keeps
its own counsel.
Certain words–these, for instance–
may be keeping a pronoun hidden.
Perhaps the lover’s you
or the solipsist’s I.
Perhaps the philosopher’s willowy it.
The concealment plainly delights.
Even a desk will gather
its clutch of secret, half-crumpled papers,
eased slowly, over years,
behind the backs of drawers.
Olives adrift in the altering brine-bath
etch onto their innermost pits
a few furrowed salts that will never be found by the tongue.
Yet even with so much withheld,
so much unspoken,
potatoes are cooked with butter and parsley,
and buttons affixed to their sweater.
Invited guests arrive, then dutifully leave.
And this poem, afterward, washes its breasts
with soap and trembling hands, disguising nothing.
Photo: Mysterious Girl 2 by Leszek Nowak from Stock Exchange http://www.sxc.hu/profile/mcleod