Waking This Morning Dreamless After Long Sleep
Jane Hirshfield
But with this sentence:
Use your failures for paper.’
Meaning, I understood,
the backs of failed poems, but also my life.

Whose far side I begin now to enter —

A book imprinted without seeming reason,
each blank day bearing on its reverse, in random order,
the mad-set type of another.
December 12, 1960. April 4, 1981. 13th of August, 1974 —

Certain words bleed through to the unwritten pages.
To call this memory offers no solace.

Even in sleep, the heavy millstones turning.’

I do not know where the words come from,
what the millstones,
where the turning may lead.

I, a woman forty-five, beginning to gray at the temples,
putting pages of ruined paper
into a basket, pulling them out again.