Mary Oliver


Isn’t it plain the sheets of moss, except that

they have no tongues, could lecture

all day if they wanted about

spiritual patience? Isn’t it clear

the black oaks along the path are standing

as though they were the most fragile of flowers?

Every morning I walk like this around

the pond, thinking: if the doors of my heart

ever close, I am as good as dead.

Every morning, so far, I’m alive. And now

the crows break off from the rest of the darkness

and burst up into the sky–as though

all night they had thought of what they would like

their lives to be, and imagined

their strong, thick wings.

From Dream Work, copyright 1986 by Mary Oliver.

Used by permission of Grove/Atlantic, Inc., and the author.

COPYRIGHT 2005 U.S. National Center for Infectious Diseases

COPYRIGHT 2005 Gale Group