What did you notice?
The low flying sparrow
The bat, on the wind, in the dark
Big chested geese, in the V of sleekest performance
The soft toad, patient in the hot sand
The sweet-hungry ants
The uproar of mice in the empty house
The tin music of the cricket’s body
The blouse of the goldenrod.
What did you hear?
The thrush greeting the morning
The little bluebirds in their hot box
The salty talk of the wren
Then the deep cup of the hour of silence.
When did you admire?
The oaks, letting down their dark and hairy fruit
The carrot, rising in its elongated waist
The onion, sheet after sheet, curved inward to the pale green wand
At the end of summer the brassy dust, the almost liquid beauty of the flowers
Then the ferns scrawled black by the frost.
What astonished you?
The swallows making their dip and turn over the water.
What would you like to see again?
My dog, her energy and exuberance, her willingness, her language beyond all nimbleness of tongue
Her recklessness, her loyalty, her sweetness, her strong legs, her curled black lip, her snap.
What was most tender?
Queen Anne’s lace, with its parsnip root
The everlasting in its bonnets of wool
The kinks and turns of the tupelo’s body
The tall blank banks of sand
The clam, clamped down.
What was most wonderful?
The sea and its wide shoulders
The sea and its triangles
The sea lying back units long athlete’s spine.
What did you think was happening?
The green beast of the hummingbird
The eye of the pond
The wet face of the lily
The bright, puckered knee of the broken oak
The red tulip of the fox’s mouth
The up-swing, the down-pour, the frayed sleeve of the first snow -
So the gods shake us from our sleep.
- Mary Oliver - RIP
(I am so grateful for you)