Thursday, November 08, 2007

A Poem by Mary Oliver

Heavy
The time
I thought I could not
go any closer to grief
without dying

I went closer
and I did not die.
Surely God had His hand in this,

as well as friends,
Still, I was bent,
and my laughter,
as the poet said,

was nowhere to be found.
Then said my friend Daniel
(brave even among lions),
"It's not the weight you carry

but how you carry it–
books, bricks, grief–
it's all in the way
you embrace it, balance it, carry it

when you cannot, and would not,
put it down."
So I went practicing.
Have you noticed?

Have you heard the laughter
that comes, now and again,
out of my startled mouth?

How I linger
to admire, admire, admire
the things of this world
that are kind, and maybe

also troubled–
roses in the wind,
the sea geese on the steep wave,
a love
to which there is no reply?


- Mary Oliver
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