Saturday, February 21, 2015

"Out of the Stump Rot, Something" by Mary Oliver



Out of the stump rot
something
glides forward
that is not a rope,

unless a rope has eyes,
lips,
tongue like a smack of smoke,
body without shoulders.

Thus: the black snake
floating
over the leaves
of the old year

and down to the pond,
to the green just beginning
to fuzzle out of the earth,
also, like smoke.

If you like a prettiness,
don't come here.
Look at pictures instead,
or wait for the daffodils.

This is spring,
by the rattled pond, in the shambled woods,
as spring has always been
and will always be

no matter what we do
in the suburbs.
The matted fur,
the red blood,

the bats unshuttering
their terrible faces,
and black snake
gliding across the field

you think you own.
Long neck, long tail.
Tongue on fire.
Heart of stone.

"Out of the Stump Rot, Something" by Mary Oliver, from A Thousand Mornings, 2012.

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