Greeting the Day With A Poem

By Mary Oliver


Every spring


the ambiguities

of childhood


the hillsides grew white

with the wild trilliums.

I believed in the world.

Oh, I wanted


to be easy

in the peopled kingdoms,

to take my place there,

but there was none


that I could find

shaped like me.

So I entered

through the tender buds,


I crossed the cold creek,

my backbone

and my thin white shoulders

unfolding and stretching.


From the time of snow-melt,

when the creek roared

and the mud slid

and the seeds cracked,


I listened to the earth-talk,

the root-wrangle,

the arguments of energy,

the dreams lying


just under the surface,

then rising,


at the last moment


flaring and luminous –

the patient parable

of every spring and hillside

year after difficult year.

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