I gave Fa a volume of Luci Shaw's poetry for Christmas, which I waited till the last minute to wrap -- I knew I would have a hard time sneaking it back from her once she had read the first two or three of these luminous poems. This one was an immediate favorite for me.
As Iron on Iron
Walking this morning, I began to think
how everything wears its other down. How
this sidewalk smoothes my rubber soles.
How stomachs slick their food, waves
burnish shattered bottles to sea glass,
how a prevailing wind shapes trees
and bends them to its gusting will.
How calm weather soothes an impatient sea.
A panther, crated for the zoo, will pace
her pattern in her cage. Today my open window
carves the sunlight to a square that warms
the rug. God tools me like a strip of buckskin.
My silence wears your chatter like a suit;
your charity unravels my reproach. You
shape me, and I shape you, and all our kindred
work to shape us into who they wish we were.