Jane Zwart

Both a borrower and a lender be--

both, even though, in the lease,
as in grace, it’s easier
if you assume the lordly part.

To part with a grudge or to trust
your son with the van cannot hold
a candle, for effort, to being forgiven

or even to taking an umbrella
held out by a young man in the rain.

But so much grows stronger or more sweet
only by passing between us.

Wearing my mother’s sweater, I crib
from the unworried cuffs a half-familiar joy

and later my mother, the sweater returned,
tugs it on before my warmth
can leave the sleeves.

Jane Zwart teaches English at Calvin University, where she also co-directs the Calvin Center for Faith & Writing. Her poems have previously appeared or are forthcoming in Poetry, Rattle, TriQuarterly, Threepenny Review, and Ploughshares, as well as other journals and magazines.