Tuesday, May 14, 2019

mule heart

On the days when the rest
have failed you,
let this much be yours -
flies, dust, and unnameable odor,
the two waiting baskets:
one for the lemons and passion,
the other for all you have lost.
Both empty,
it will come to your shoulder,
breathe slowly against your bare arm.
If you offer it hay, it will eat.
Offered nothing,
it will stand as long as you ask.
The little bells of the bridle will hang
beside you quietly,
in the heat and the tree's thin shade.
Do not let its sparse mane deceive you,
or the way the left ear swivels into dream.
This too is a gift of the gods,
calm and complete.

~ Jane Hirshfield
from The Lives of the Heart
art by McKenzie Birnie


Sarah said...

thank you. no end of pleasure in her work. she speaks so intuitively of the heart's deep quiet space, textured as the flank, dusty and warm