Tuesday, March 27, 2012

whatever else my life is

Spring
- Mary Oliver


Somewhere
    a black bear
      has just risen from sleep
         and is staring


down the mountain.
    All night
      in the brisk and shallow restlessness
         of early spring


I think of her,
    her four black fists
      flicking the gravel,
         her tongue


like a red fire
    touching the grass,
      the cold water.
         There is only one question:


how to love this world.
    I think of her
      rising
         like a black and leafy ledge


to sharpen her claws against
    the silence
      of the trees.
         Whatever else


my life is
    with its poems
      and its music
         and its glass cities,


it is also this dazzling darkness
    coming
      down the mountain,
         breathing and tasting;


all day I think of her—
    her white teeth,
      her wordlessness,
         her perfect love.

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