The Poet With His Face in His Hands

You want to cry aloud for your

mistakes. But to tell the truth the world

doesn’t need any more of that sound.


So if you’re going to do it and can’t

stop yourself, if your pretty mouth can’t

hold it in, at least go by yourself across


the forty fields and the forty dark inclines

of rocks and water to the place where

the falls are flinging out their white sheets


like crazy, and there is a cave behind all that

jubilation and water-fun and you can

stand there, under it, and roar all you


want and nothing will be disturbed; you can

drip with despair all afternoon and still,

on a green branch, its wings just lightly touched


by the passing foil of the water, the thrush,

puffing out its spotted breast, will sing

of the perfect, stone-hard beauty of everything.


~ Mary Oliver

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