Monday, September 26, 2011

What Is Usual Is Not What Is Always, by Jane Hirschfield

Hello Poets,
Let's not forget, says Jane Hirshfield, the peculiarities, oddities and aberrations of everyday life.
More real than vacuous hopes and promises or soothing narratives, exceptions arrive somehow and take root.
These simple offerings are the odd matter to crystalize new worlds around.

What Is Usual Is Not What Is Always

What is usual is not what is always.
As sometimes, in old age, hearing comes back.

Footsteps resume their clipped edges,
birds quiet for decades migrate back to the ear.

Where were they? By what route did they return?

A woman mute for years
forms one perfect sentence before she dies.

The bitter young man tires;
the aged one sitting now in his body is tender,
his face carries no regret for his choices.

What is usual is not what is always, the day says again.
It is all it can offer.

Not ungraspable hope, not the consolation of stories.
Only the reminder that there is exception.

by Jane Hirschfield, from After, 2006