Stay, I said
to the cut flowers.
They bowed
their heads lower.

Stay, I said to the spider,
who fled.

Stay, leaf.
It reddened,
embarrassed for me and itself.

Stay, I said to my body.
It sat as a dog does,
obedient for a moment,
soon starting to tremble.

Stay, to the earth
of riverine valley meadows,
of fossiled escarpments,
of limestone and sandstone.
It looked back
with a changing expression, in silence.

Stay, I said to my loves.
Each answered,
Always.

  • Poem copyright ©2011 by Jane Hirshfield, from her most recent book of poems, Come, Thief, Alfred A. Knopf, 2011. Poem reprinted by permission of Jane Hirshfield and the publisher.

Poet Bio

What People are Saying

"While the competition and chance to recite is wonderful in itself, there is a very strong camaraderie among the competitors like nothing I've experienced before. It's the kind of environment that has inspired me and allowed me to grow not only as a reciter but also as a poet, performer, and person."
Savina Magdalena Barini
2014 ID POL Champion