Poet Jane Hirshfield said "... the feeling I have about poem-writing (is) that it is always an exploration, of discovering something I didn't already know.  Who I am shifts from moment to moment, year to year.  What I can perceive does as well.  A new poem peers into mystery, into whatever lies just beyond the edge of knowable ground."

I bring a different poem to the writing classes each week, not only to inspire but to introduce new poets to the group members.

Arriving Home by Jill Hinners

Along this cobble-stoned path	
a skin of ice tries to steal my step
as iris leaves, parched
but not yet snowbound,
whisper and rattle in judgment
from their frozen bed.

Some say a ghost lives in this house,	
a wife still waiting by the window
for the evening train.
How many years ago
did her husband ride the rails
each day, whistling,
swinging his lunch pail (so light,
so empty, on his return)
until the day of no return,
no whistle save the train’s?

Some say the draft	
that tonight in the dining room
licks my cheek like a plume
of cold breath is her spirit.
I am a skeptic		
but like the story, prefer it
to the diagnosis
“insufficient insulation.”

Outside, the irises dance:  
undone beauties
condemned to watch the living
carry on living.  Inside,
I turn to you without words,	
the two of us becalmed
amidst this restlessness of leaves,
a widow’s rustling skirts.

~ from The Heart of All That Is: Reflections on Home 
(Holy Cow Press, 2013)


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