Ice Friday: Jane Hirshfield’s “Rock”

What appears to be stubbornness,/refusal, or interruption,/is to it a simple privacy. It broods/its thought like a quail her clutch of eggs.

Mosses and lichens/listen outside the locked door./Stars turn the length of one winter, then the next.

Rocks fill their own shadow without hesitation. and do not question silence,/however long./Nor are they discomforted by cold, by rain, by heat. The work of a rock is to ponder whatever it is:/an act that looks singly like a prayer,/ but is not a prayer.

As for this boulder,/its meditations are slow but complete.

Someday, its thinking worm out, it will be/carried away by an ant./A Mystrium cammilae,/perhaps, caught in some equally diligent,/equally single pursuit of a thought of her own,