When Your Life Looks Back

This poem left me speechless and thoughtful. This – our lives.

Radiating Blossom ~ Flowers & Words

When your life looks back—
as it will, at itself, at you—what will it say?

Inch of colored ribbon cut from the spool.
Flame curl, blue-consuming the log it flares from.
Bay leaf. Oak leaf. Cricket. One among many.

Your life will carry you as it did always,
with ten fingers and both palms,
with horizontal ribs and upright spine,
with its filling and emptying heart,
that wanted only your own heart, emptying, filled, in return.
You gave it. What else could you do?

Immersed in air or in water.
Immersed in hunger or anger.
Curious even when bored.
Longing even when running away.

“What will happen next?”—
the question hinged in your knees, your ankles,
in the in-breaths even of weeping.
Strongest of magnets, the future impartial drew you in.
Whatever direction you turned toward was face to face.
No back of the world existed,
no unseen corner, no…

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10 thoughts on “When Your Life Looks Back”

  1. You may have uncovered the reading I will ask you to do. I will keep looking. This is one of the most beautiful pieces of poetry certainly because it resonates so strongly. This poem touches the central theme of my discussion with my Rabbi this AM. She gave me a book (hard cover, not kindalized – imagine?) entitled From Age-ing to Sage-ing. Perfect timing don’t you think? I hope to have it finished by the time I see you. Can’t wait for the discussions I anticipate it will provoke.

    1. I’m going to look up the book – interesting title that’s for sure!! And I will proudly do whatever you ask me to do for this auspicious, inspiring moment – even just kvell!! This poem has ‘been’ with me all morning..

  2. Mimi – This poem reveals what we are made of and is an inspiration to uncover our inner hearts and to go forth and live well, Thank you for finding sharing such meaningful poetry. Xo

  3. I originally saw this poem in the book, “Where the God of Love Hangs Out” by Amy Bloom. I can’t believe you’re featuring it. When I read it, I almost didn’t see the words. I felt them. Looking at the words and phrases analytically, they didn’t make as much sense. Somehow, Jane Hirshfield spoke of my existential fear and aloneness just by slinging those lines together. I was enthralled. Copied it for my “Inspirations” notebook. Looked for her reading it on YouTube. (Here it is. Go to the 4:30 mark: http://youtu.be/nfgHgNkHx9M). Thanks so much, Mimi. Thanks for reminding me.

    1. I am going to order the book you mention by Amy Bloom..I too printed this out – for it spoke to me in a similar way. Thank you for the video – heading there now.

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