Read: Sometimes, all I have time or inclination for is poetry. More from Jane Hirshfield:
For What Binds Us
There are names for what binds us:
strong forces, weak forces.
Look around, you can see them:
the skin that forms in a half-empty cup,
nails rusting into the places they join,
joints dovetailed on their own weight.
The way things stay so solidly
wherever they've been set down—
and gravity, scientists say, is weak.
And see how the flesh grows back
across a wound, with a great vehemence,
than the simple, untested surface before.
There's a name for it on horses,
when it comes back darker and raised: proud flesh,
as all flesh,
is proud of its wounds, wears them
as honors given out after battle,
small triumphs pinned to the chest—
And when two people have loved each other
see how it is like a
scar between their bodies,
stronger, darker, and proud;
how the black cord makes of them a single fabric
that nothing can tear or mend.
Listen: While my song"Adding Water to the Ashes" is about faith and lost love more than anything, it owes a ton to my love for my mom. I've been playing this song for years but finally have some live footage from the show last week at Bottom of the Hill in San Francisco.
"Adding Water to the Ashes" from the 2008 Cd of the same name.