Vinegar and Oil

By Jane Hirshfield

Wrong solitude vinegars the soul,
right solitude oils it.

How fragile we are, between the few good moments.

Coming and going unfinished,
puzzled by fate,

like the half-carved relief
of a fallen donkey, above a church door in Finland.

This article available online at:

http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2008/06/vinegar-and-oil/306804/