Thursday, May 30, 2013

"At the Pond" by Mary Oliver

One summer
   I went every morning
      to the edge of a pond where
         a huddle of just-hatched geese

would paddle to me
   and clamber
      up the marshy slope
         and over my body,

peeping and staring--
   such sweetness every day
      which the grown ones watched,
         for whatever reason,

   Not there, however, but here
      is where the story begins.
         Nature has many mysteries,

some of them severe.
   Five of the young geese grew
      heavy of chest and
         bold of wing

while the sixth waited and waited
   in its gauze-feathers, its body
      that would not grow.
         And then it was fall.

And this is what I think
   everything is all about:
      the way
         I was glad

For those five and two
   that flew away,
      and the way I hold in my heart the wingless one
         that had to stay.

Mary Oliver has received a Pulitzer Prize for poetry and a National Book Award. She lives in Provincetown, Massachusetts.

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