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by Jane Hirshfield

audioear picture Hear Jane Hirshfield read this poem (in RealAudio).

(For help, see a note about the audio.)

Also by Jane Hirshfield:
The Song (1986)
Within This Tree (1991)
The Love of Aged Horses (1994)
Lying (1994)
Three Foxes by the Edge of the Field at Twilight (1996)
The Poet (1997)

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I woke and remembered
nothing of what I was dreaming.

The day grew light, then dark again --
In all its rich hours, what happened?

A few weeds pulled, a few cold flowers
carried inside for the vase.
A little reading. A little tidying and sweeping.

I had vowed to do nothing I did not wish
to do that day, and kept my promise.

Once, a certain hope came close
and then departed. Passed by me in its familiar
shawl, scented with iodine woodsmoke.

I did not speak to it, nor it to me.
Yet still the habit of warmth traveled
between us, like an apple shared by old friends.

One takes a bite, then the other.
They do this until it is gone.

Jane Hirshfield teaches in the Bennington College M.F.A. writing seminars. Her most recent books are Lives of the Heart (1997), a collection of poetry, and Nine Gates: Entering the Mind of Poetry (1997), a book of essays.

Copyright © 1999 by The Atlantic Monthly Company. All rights reserved.
The Atlantic Monthly; July 1999; Apple; Volume 284, No. 1; page 49.

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