Not Yet by Jane Hirshfield

Today my parents are celebrating their twenty-ninth year of marriage. I look at them and can’t believe they’re still fooling themselves. My father’s fingers, devoid of a ring. My mother’s gaze, unfeeling.

Not Yet
Jane Hirshfield

Morning of buttered toast;
of coffee, sweetened, with milk.

Out of the window,
snow-spruces step from their cobwebs.
Flurry of chickadees, feeding then gone.
A single cardinal stipples an empty branch –
one maple leaf lifted back.

I turn my blessings like photographs into the light;
over my shoulder the god of Not-Yet looks on:

Not-yet-dead, not-yet-lost, not-yet-taken.
Not-yet-shattered, not-yet-sectioned,

Ample litany, sparing nothing I hate or love,
not-yet-silenced, not-yet-fractured, not-yet-


I move my ear a little closer to that humming figure,
I ask him only to stay.


1 Comment

  1. my parents’ anniversary was on Jan 7th. and yes, it was the 29th just like yours parents’. and yes, mine are fooling themselves just like yours. both of them no longer neither wear their rings nor have feelings for each other. they just drag it around. 24 yeas ago, the reason was because of me. 24 years later, they still say they’re doing it for me, without asking or care if i really want any of these happen.

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