Wednesday, July 18, 2007


The Opening

Every meeting is fateful.

A bot fly lays her yellow eggs on the leg of a horse.

A door latch slips into place
and the story once told behind it is over:

A sentence turns in mid-stride and
becomes a question.

No one knows why.

But mostly we keep on asking.
A sound like many small birds in a tree.
A sound like rain.

Once, in the long midsummer drought
of coastal California, I heard a sound that puzzled.
I went outside to stars,
my outstretched hand unwetted.

But from every tree around me, water came hard,
the downpour still at full in its falling.

The gutters made the sound they throat while working.
My hand was dry.

I stood inside the mystery,
no question in my heart's fast beating.

first appeared in Margie -Volume 2, 2003


Shann Palmer, blog admin said...

Thanks for this- I hated jane hirshfield for years (partially due to her turgid readings on the Bill Moyer show)

Then i encountered her (actually crashed into her in the rain) at the Dodge Poetry Festival and attended her sessions- she was marvelous and changed for the better!! I have since gone back and reevaluated her work.

Nick said...

Thanks for the anecdote, Shann. :-)