“I Open the Window,” a Poem by Jane Hirshfield

2 months ago 56

What I wanted
wasn’t to let in the wetness.
That can be mopped.

Nor the cold.
There are blankets.

What I wanted was
the siren, the thunder, the neighbor,
the fireworks, the dog’s bark.

Which of them didn’t matter?

Yes, this world is perfect,
all things as they are.

But I wanted
not to be
the one sleeping soundly, on a soft pillow,
clean sheets untroubled,
dreaming there still might be time,

while this everywhere crying


the asking

From The Asking by Jane Hirshfield. Copyright © 2023 by Jane Hirshfield. Excerpted by permission of Alfred A. Knopf, a division of Penguin Random House, LLC, New York. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.

Jane Hirshfield

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