Sunday, November 06, 2005

Sunday Morning Song

Mary Oliver

This morning
two mockingbirds
in the green field
were spinning and tossing

the white ribbons
of their songs
into the air.
I had nothing

better to do
than listen.
I mean this

In Greece,
a long time ago,
an old couple
opened their door

to two strangers
who were,
it soon appeared,
not men at all

but gods.
It is my favorite story --
how the old couple
had almost nothing to give

but their willlingness
to be attentive --
but for this alone
the gods loved them

and blessed them --
when they rose
out of their mortal bodies,
like a million particles of water

from a fountain,
the light
swept into all the corners
of the cottage,

and the old couple,
shaken with understanding,
bowed down --
but still they asked for nothing

but the difficult life
which they had already.
And the gods smiled, as they
clapping their great wings.

Wherever it was
I was supposed to be
this morning --
whatever it was I said

I would be doing --
I was standing
at the edge of the field --
I was hurrying

through my own soul,
opening its dark doors --
I was leaning out;
I was listening.

Copyright 1994 by The Atlantic Monthly Co.

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