Thursday, June 10, 2010

Thursday Poem - Mule Heart

On the days when the rest
have failed you,
let this much be yours --
flies, dust, an 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 Hirschfield, from The Lives of the Heart


Sarah said...

Beautiful picture and poem. You have moved me to tears, again!

kerrdelune said...

Thank you, Sarah. Jane's poem is one of my favorites. The photo is an old one and not terrific, but the patient little guy in his halter and bridle was the perfect ( and heart wrenching) illustration - methinks I need to work on cultivating mule heart.

the wild magnolia said...

I absolutely adore and love donkeys/burrows! Wonderful poem and picture!