Now a Darkness is Coming

poetry 0
Jane Hirshfield


I hold my life with two hands.
I walk with two legs.
Two ears are enough to hear Bach with.

Blinded in one eye, a person sees with the other.

Now a great darkness is coming.
A both-eyes darkness.

I have one mouth.
It holds two words.
Yes, No,
inside all others.

Yes. No. No. Yes.

I say yes to these words, as I must,
and I also refuse them.

My two legs,
shaped to go forward,
obedient to can’t-know and must-be,
walk into the time that is coming.

Jane Hirshfield’s ninth poetry book, Ledger, will appear in spring 2020 from Knopf. A former chancellor of the Academy of American Poets, Hirshfield’s work appears also in The New Yorker, The Atlantic, The New York Review of Books, Poetry, and ten volumes of The Best American Poem.