Vinegar and Oil

Wrong solitude vinegars the soul,
right solitude oils it.
How fragile we are, between the few good moments.
Coming and going unfinished,
puzzled by fate,
like the half-carved relief
of a fallen donkey, above a church door in Finland.


From Come, Thief (Alfred A. Knopf, 2011). Copyright © 2013 by Jane Hirshfield. Used with the permission of the author, all rights reserved.