For What Binds Us

Sometimes it’s the simple things in life that later on seem indelible. It many ways that is also how this poem presents itself to me. A window if you will into the mind of a calm, serene poet, who cannot help experiencing life and then sharing it with others. Enjoy!

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For What Binds Us

by Jane Hirshfield

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,
more strong
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–