Jane Hirshfield


The living dog
has found the old dog's toy.
She brings it to the kitchen,
the blue rubber a little cracked
from all that time outside.
My memories,
my counting and expectations,
mean nothing to her;
my sadness, though,
does puzzle her a moment.
Then she keeps on chewing.
Time's instruments are thumb piano,
oboe, ocarina, flute, and dog.
Its movements
run through her body flawlessly.
Only we sing with a catch in the throat.
She hears the thought. —'Catch?'
She's ready.

Jane Hirshfield, Each Happiness Ringed by Lions: Selected Poems, Bloodaxe Books, 2005.