June 15th, 2006

poetrythursday

POETRY THURSDAY

Weddings and marriages and relationships have been on my mind a lot lately, understandably so, since my brother got married a few weeks ago and Anders and I celebrated our 10-year anniversary. What makes it work? A strong sense of commitment through ups and downs and good and bad. An understanding that loving someone is not necessarily the same as BEING in love all the time and that that's okay. The sense of your world righting itself when your loved one returns home from a week away. The deep, knitted-tight feeling that permeates everything about your life together.

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

And when two people love each other
see how it is like a
scar between their bodies,
stronger, darker, and proud;
how the black cord makes of them a single fabric
that nothing can tear or mend.

***

More Poetry Thursday goodness!