Jane Hirshfield

(New York / United States)

The Task Poem by Jane Hirshfield


It is a simple garment, this slipped-on world.
We wake into it daily - open eyes, braid hair -
a robe unfurled
in rose-silk flowering, then laid bare.

And yes, it is a simple enough task
we've taken on,
though also vast:
from dusk to dawn,

from dawn to dusk, to praise, and not
be blinded by the praising.
To lie like a cat in hot
sun, fur fully blazing,

and dream the mouse;
and to keep too the mouse's patient, waking watch
within the deep rooms of the house,
where the leaf-flocked

sunlight never reaches, but the earth still blooms.

Submitted: Thursday, May 23, 2013
Edited: Thursday, May 23, 2013

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